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Why Rest Days and Sleep are Important

You probably already understand the importance of staying active, especially if you regularly frequent this blog, but it’s important to remember that exercise is only part of the equation. Rest and diet are also extremely important. Today, we will focus on the reasons getting adequate rest is necessary for your fitness.

Rest Days

Rest days are crucial for people who exercise. Every workout you do causes tiny tears in your muscle fibers. As they heal, they grow back a little stronger each time. If you don’t give them the time to grow back properly, you will cause yourself more harm than good. Getting two rest days each week is necessary for your muscles to recuperate. While some people feel that taking days off will set them back, the opposite is true. If you exercise day after day, you will compound the tears in your muscles, and you can actually make yourself weaker. Rest days can also help with motivation. Taking a day off helps you get a fresh perspective on why you enjoy staying fit.

There are a couple of things you can do to get the most out of your rest days. You can engage in light yoga or stretching. This will help to loosen up tight muscles and relieve tension. A massage is also a good option. This will release built-up lactic acid. It also helps to get blood circulating to your muscles, which helps send them into repair mode.

Sleep

8 hours of sleep is ideal. I know what you’re thinking. You’ve already crammed exercise into your busy schedule, how are you supposed to find time to get a full night’s sleep. Adjusting your schedule may not be the easiest task, but it’s well worth it. Lack of sleep is similar to overtraining. Your muscles continue deteriorating instead of rebuilding. This is because the protein synthesis that is necessary for muscles to repair is done while you sleep. Adequate sleep also ensures that you have enough energy to do a productive workout. If you’re feeling worn out, you won’t be able to get the same results from your workout as you would if you were well rested. Lack of sleep also makes your body want to eat more. A natural reaction to the lack of energy is to make it up with caloric intake. This can be detrimental if you exercise for weight loss. To make matters worse, the food cravings are usually for junk food.

To get the most out of your sleep try creating some white noise. A fan or air purifier works great. This will block out any distracting noise, helping you to sleep through the night undisturbed. Also, sleep in complete darkness. Light inhibits the production of melatonin, which helps you fall and stay asleep. Even a small amount of light can prevent you from reaching the deepest stages of sleep.

If you follow these suggestions for the appropriate amount of rest and sleep, your body will have time to recover from exercise, and you will see better results. Remember, muscles don’t grow during workouts, they grow during rest.