Exercise Rest Day: Is It Necessary?

Balance is key in exercise, as it is in most aspects of life. While it's fantastic that you want to work out harder and more frequently, rest time and break sessions are an important element of any exercise routine. After all, even elite athletes include rest time in their weekly training.

Rest days provide your body - and mind - a chance to recover from your workouts. They keep you from burning out and make sure you're ready and prepared for the next session. Rest also allows your body to adapt to your exercise and develop stronger muscles, putting you in a better position to make the next workout count.

Your muscles begin to repair and develop stronger when you take a break, which means you'll be able to accomplish the same workout with less effort in the future. When you don't get enough rest, that inflammation never gets a chance to heal, which can lead to injuries, a compromised immune system, and muscle mass loss.

Particularly between hard, high-intensity workouts, your body requires adequate time to recover and refuel. This doesn't mean you can't exercise every day; it just means you should space out your higher-intensity sessions and mix them in with lower-intensity activities.

While it's necessary to stay physically active most days of the week, it's also crucial to give yourself and your body a break by scheduling at least one day of complete rest from strenuous physical activity every seven to ten days.

If your muscles are sore, taking a day off can assist your circulatory system do its job of eliminating metabolic byproducts in muscle cells (from utilizing energy during exercise) while simultaneously delivering oxygen and nutrients to help repair damaged tissues.