Often we hear a lot about taking rest from physical training by having a day off. Most fitness coaches, personal trainers and athletes do emphasis on having a day off from intense training both middle of the week as well as one in the end. This is because our body breaks down the muscle tissues during an intense activity, so it is good idea to take time off from weights and gym. It gives our body enough time to repair itself. I myself take at least 2 days a week away from lifting weights.
While there is good reason to give your body rest, it is equally essential to not let the body stay still. Reason being that your body still needs nutrients to repair through your diet, hydration, and supplementation and to do that you need to keep your body moving.
That’s why I don’t call days off as “rest days” but to me they are Active Rest Days. Whenever I design/ develop a programme for my clients I have 1 -2 active rest days in that plan. An active rest day, as it states, is a rest away from weight room but will involve you to stay active in any form, such as, going for a trek, bike ride with friends, kicking ball with your kids or siblings, taking your dog out for a walk at the beach or closest park. Basically having an active day outdoor away from the hard core zones.
Why Active Rest Day?
Well I came across this concept 3 years ago after my first Bodybuilding competition. Until then I used to take my days off literally to the point I didn’t want to move which made me lazy, grumpy and more in pain. Of course, this also impacted my relationships with my family and friends, as well as affected my workout next day.
Active Rest Day, as stated above, a day to have fun. It takes you away from intense training to a zone of fun activities outdoors or even indoors. It also helps you relax mentally, reduces your cortisol levels (stress), therefore, making you look forward to next training session.
It also gives you a forced balancing act to spend time with your family & friends away from your daily routine. From a physical point of view you are still getting a rest from training, recovery via your diet & supplementation and a fulfilled day.
No Matter what kind of plan you are using for your transformation, if it has a REST DAY in it, change it to an Active Rest Day. It will change your whole transformation process from an intense to a fun one.
All the Best!
Fitness & Transformation Coach