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You’re Building Muscle While You Rest
t l e Why Rest Days Are Good for You!
February is the month when many of us give up on New Year’s resolutions. We lose motivation, or life simply gets in the way. If you find yourself sitting on the couch more than you did in January, when you may have been actively pursuing your fitness goals, consider this permission to sit a little while longer: Rest days are good for you! Here’s why. Your body needs to move. Exercise has many benefits, but from a survival standpoint, exercise and movement help your body perform daily functions with ease. But that’s not when your body gets stronger. It’s actually on the days you choose to rest that your muscles and joints improve as a result of your exercise. Exercising creates tiny tears in your muscles. (Maybe that’s why it burns so much!) In the regeneration process — aka your rest days — the muscle is built back stronger than it was before. That’s why incorporating rest days into your workouts ensures you can climb up from 5
to 10 to 15 pounds for dumbbell curls or run more miles in a faster time than last week!
Beyond the improvement and fitness goals you have, rest days can also be essential to preventing injuries. Your body won’t become overworked, and your muscles get the necessary respite they need. Fatigue won’t set in as quickly, and you will find that you can do more as you properly incorporate rest days into your schedule. Fitting rest days into your daily routine is easier than you may think, but it sadly doesn’t involve sitting on the couch for too long. You should always find a way to move at least once each day. If you want to try running, start out by running three days each week. On your “off” days, incorporate some yoga, go for a leisurely walk, or focus on your arms and shoulders. This gives your legs and core a break from running
while you still get the benefits of movement. (Plus, on the days you run, you will get a break from yoga or weightlifting!) It’s okay if you haven’t met your resolution goals just yet, but don’t give up! Find a way to add more rest into your routine, and you just might be more invigorated than ever before.
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