People who exercise regularly will attest: working out can become a habit. When it does, missing a day in the gym or the studio can feel awful. You want to look and feel your best, after all! That’s why it can be so easy to think rest days are counterproductive. Doesn’t skipping a day put a dent in gym gains? Isn’t it true that people who take rest days are more likely to miss their fitness goals?
The thought of a rest day might repulse you, but believe this: rest is just as crucial to your gains as working out. Without proper rest, you risk doing serious damage to your body in a whole host of ways! Overworking your body can lead to a weakened immune system, sleep difficulty, a decrease in strength, and injury. The fitness and medical communities agree on this.
Working out (especially strength training) is really the process of tearing your muscle fibers and then allowing your body to rebuild those muscle fibers to be even stronger for next time. The fiber damage is necessary for growth, but the repair doesn’t happen when you’re active. It occurs while you rest. If you don’t give your body time to rest, it won’t be able to repair your muscle fibers. That means you’ll plateau on your gains. Nobody wants that.
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