Like many, you may have a New Year’s resolution. However, those resolutions don’t always work. For those who prioritize exercise, however, creating a workout routine often forgoes rest days – go ahead with intense workouts.
As Science Focus points out, when you exercise, you divert blood from your liver and digestive system to your skeletal muscles. Then hormones in the body tell the body to convert fat into glucose, which provides energy, to reduce the pain you feel and improve your mood.
Through exercise, muscles create microscopic tears in themselves and generate lactic acid. As you exercise, this lactic acid builds up and drops the pH of the blood around the muscles. this drop makes the muscles unable to contract any further.
For the replenishment of pH levels and a better workout, one must rest.
During this critical resting period, muscle tissue cells called fibroblasts repair and build muscle tissue and allow the muscles to replenish their stores of glycogen: a form of energy stored in the muscles. All that aid the tissues heal and grow, resulting in stronger muscles.
Even athletes take rest days. A good example is Olympian Ron Hill, a world famous distance runner. hill had remark symptoms of overtraining, which included heavy, aching legs and a weaker immune system. Although he found a training regimen that helped him compete, he often wondered if some of his substandard competitions were due to a lack of rest days.
Another professional athlete who enjoys rest days is tennis superstar Serena Williams. According to to strength and conditioning specialist Aja Campbell, when Williams leaves the field, she begins her recovery and recovery process. In fact, Williams took four months to rest her body and mind.
These days of rest also benefit the mind. During exercise, your mind is under high stress, and rest relieves that pressure.
You should also participate in what is called active recovery.
active recovery is a workout that involves performing low-intensity exercises after an intense workout. It keeps blood flowing and helps muscles recover and rebuild after strenuous physical activity. Ideally, on a rest day involving active recovery, the goal should be to find low-intensity activity that keeps your heart rate at 30-60% of your maximum heart rate. If you don’t have a way to measure this, a good rule of thumb is to pick an activity where you’re still able to hold a regular conversation.
Examples of this would be yoga, stretching, light jogging, relaxed walking, and even low-intensity swimming. However, I wouldn’t recommend trying to hold a conversation while swimming.
The great reasons for taking rest days are to reduce the risk of injury, prevent muscle fatigue and improve performance for the day after exercise and to be able to come back stronger.
Aditya is a business junior.