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When To Take A Rest Day?

Hi Friends of Oompf, it’s Alvan here. Today we will be talking about rest days and why you need them.

Recovery is an important component to any training program. It is just as important as exercise and nutrition. Each time we exercise, we are creating microscopic tears in our muscles and these tears need time to repair. And as much as we’d like our body to be functioning at 100% all the time, we have to accept the fact that as we age, our body changes and sometimes we do not recover as fast as we used to.

Recovery is important for many reasons such as improved performance and decreases the risk for potential injury. However, many times we are caught up in hitting new personal records that we forget to listen to our body. Here are some tell-tale signs that your body needs rest.

1. Experiencing sleep disturbances
You may feel tired but face difficulty falling asleep at the end of the night. This is because your central nervous system may be overstimulated trying to repair your muscles. Not being able to sleep well not only affects your training performance but also your cognitive functions, immunity and your mood.

2. You’re always sore
Soreness is your body’s way of telling you to that it needs more energy to repair and recover. It is normal to feel sore after an intense workout of if you’re new to exercising however if you’ve been exercising for awhile now but your muscles are sore for over 72 hours, this may be a sign that your muscles are not recovering well.

3. Decreased performance
Do you feel like you have plateaued despite an increase in training intensity or volume? This is also another sign that you may be overtraining. You may also experience a decrease in agility and endurance. When the tears in your muscles have not fully recovered and you’re still pushing your muscles to its limit, you are only re-tearing them again. In order for the muscles to grow, recovery is vital before loading yourself again.

It is important to note that muscles need about 7 days of recovery after an intense workout, while tendons need 10 days. But this does not mean you should workout once every 10 days! With a proper training plan, you will train body parts one at a time, and this should give each  muscle groups enough time to recover.

Besides taking a day or 2 off training, you can also switch up a day of training for a day of stretching or active recovery. Active recovery includes walking, yoga or even swimming. This will be beneficial to your body and you wouldn’t need to feel bad about not getting anything done!

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