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Why You Need to Take Days Off
Are you training for the weekend? It's wonderful to have a couple of days to kick back and relax after a long week of working and training hard. But did you know that taking time to rest and recover is utterly vital for your fitness? Training every day of the week is NOT the best option, and it will NOT help you in the long run. Here are a few reasons why you need to take days off every week:
It helps you hit the workouts hard
If you were to work out every day, you would end up working with sore muscles. Your workouts cause microdamage to your muscle tissue, damage that your body needs time to repair. Muscle soreness is basically the pain of muscles damaged from a workout that have yet to heal. If you try to push the pain, the damage could actually become a problem. You could injure yourself, or, at the very least, you reduce the effectiveness of your workouts. But if you take days off, you give your body a chance to rest and repair those muscles. When you hit your next workout, there's no soreness, so you can give it your all.
It curbs boredom
If you were to spend every day at the gym, you'd find yourself growing bored pretty quickly. After all, the same people and place every day can get boring quickly. Not only is boredom a risk, but there's a chance you'll get discouraged thanks to the fact that you're not gaining muscle or strength as fast as you wanted. But after a weekend spent relaxing and enjoying yourself, you can hit the gym with renewed motivation and drive. You'll have a much easier time pushing your body after a few days of rest.
It boosts your immunity
Exercise may boost your immune function, but did you know that your immune activity is SEVERELY reduced immediately following a workout? It takes a few hours for the immune-boosting benefits of exercise to kick in. This constant suppression and increase in your immune activity can take its toll on your body, leaving you vulnerable to illness. But taking a few days of rest will help to restore your immune system to full function and keep you protected from sickness.
It resets your brain
When you train hard, your neuromuscular system is pushed to its limits. If you don't take time to rest, that system cannot function properly in your workouts. The result is reduced neuromuscular function. However, when you take days off, you basically "reset" the brain-muscle connection. You replenish the energy and restore your neuromuscular system to full function. When you hit the workouts again, your brain and body are in full sync, leading to more efficient overall performance.
It makes it easy to change
What better time to start a new routine or workout program than on the first day of the week? After a weekend of rest, you're ready to hit the new workout like a champ. It will also give your body time to adjust to the new workout. You'll be performing exercises and movements you've never tried before, so taking time off will allow you to recover from the inevitable sore muscles.
It gives your joints a break
Your muscles are designed to take a pounding, but your joints are not. They can only handle so much strain before they begin to show signs of weakness. That's why it's so important that you take a few days off every week: to give your joints a chance to recover from your workouts.