Doctor: I want to take have four days of bed rest
Runner: Yes of course doctor, but can I run?
It’s is most exercise enthusiasts worst word, rest day. There are, however, reasons behind the madness of telling you not to train seven days a week.
It helps prevent injury: When you are pounding the pavement your muscles, bones, feet, and ligaments take a lot of punishment, rest days helps prevent over usage and in the end prevents injury.
Your muscles need time to repair: when you are exercising you are technically tearing your muscles which grow back bigger and stronger, without rest days this cannot happen. This is also one of the main reasons why it is recommended to do cross training.
One or two days rest won’t change your fitness: It usually takes about two weeks of non-activity for the body to start losing the progress you have made up to this point. So you can even take a week off or at least follow your personal trainer’s advice of taking is slow every fourth week.
You might have trouble sleeping: Over-training makes it difficult for the mind and body to shut down at night.
Your immune system may suffer: due to the fact that your body is constantly trying to prepare itself your immune system is working overtime, which in turn can open you up to injury or even illness.
Mental: When overtraining your mind will start throwing little tantrums of not wanting to train at all, then you ignore the warning signs and exercise anyway. Problem is, there will come a time when it will not be so easy to overwrite that instinct and you might have trouble keeping up with your exercise routine altogether.
Things to do during rest days.
- Pet a cat
- Go to the beach (no don’t run on the beach)
- Take a very slow leisurely walk
- Take another nap
- Bake, or make your own energy bars
- Buy running shoes
- Help out at a runs water table
- Fly a kite