Fitness experts and researchers from the world over agree that rest days are essential for achieving your fitness goals (NBCNews). However, there is also research, which indicates that rest days shouldn’t be completely devoid of activity. In fact, doing nothing between days of working out can set back your overall progress. And yet, exercising hard on those days can have the same result and can even lead to injury. If you want to succeed with your achieving your fitness goals in the healthiest and most effective way, you need to find the ‘golden middle’.
How to Make Your Rest Days Productive Without Overstraining Your Body
1. Breathe some air enjoying low-impact exercising
Breathing some fresh air is good for your physical and mental health, so spending some time outdoors on your rest day is a good idea. However, to make it better, you need to include some exercise into your plans.
Going on a bike ride will be best. But if you choose this, you should stick to easy routes that won’t take you to hilled areas. Going for a walk is the easiest way to exercise outdoors on a rest day. However, the effect of this exercise will be very limited, unless you decide to walk for miles or go on a hike to some mountain area. A nice moderately-paced jog is also a great option.
2. Eat more proteins
Exercising isn’t the only thing you can do to help your recovery and make your rest days more productive. You should know that it’s during these times that your muscles do the bulk of their growing. Therefore, this is the best time to fuel them with easily digestible proteins.
Note that you need to control yourself and not overeat, especially if you are trying to lose weight. To get the best results, you should rework some meals in your weight loss diet and ensure they contain more poultry, eggs, fish or legumes. Click here to see a detailed breakdown of every meal on a fast weight loss diet plan and think how you can make these meals more effective for muscle growing.
3. Exercise your mind
Practice some yoga and mindfulness meditation on your rest days. The exercise will stretch your sore muscles, but it’s the meditation that will be the greatest booster here. It will help you center yourself and relieve stress, both mental and physical.
Mental benefits of exercising are well-known, but as much as your workouts help, they can also cause some problems. Research indicates that some people might become dependent on exercise as a coping mechanism. This can lead to overworking and injury. Regular rest days and body-mind practices like yoga will help you avoid such issues.
4. Spend your time in the water
Swimming is one of the best types of exercises that exist. It’s low-impact but engages all your muscles. And everyone knows the relaxing feeling you get by simply being in the water and letting it hold your weight.
Go for a swim on your rest day and be sure to spend some of the time simply relaxing in the pool with a nice low-calorie drink.