Although it’s important for us to exercise, we must remember to take rest. Exercise is addictive, once we start, we want more.
But exercise like everything else must be taken in moderation. Too much exercise can work against us and without rest can have catastrophic effects, such as increased susceptibility to colds and infections and weight loss. Rest days and recovery are important and necessary as part of any training programme.
When starting a new fitness regime, we’re told it’s important to take rest days between workouts. Substandard performances will be inevitable if we fail to rest. However proficient we are, we need to allow the body’s muscles to recover from any damage they may have sustained through training.
Although we think we’re being careful, with repeated exercise it is easy to sustain injury without us even thinking we have. Muscles must recover and grow.
Rest days do play an important role in helping us maintain our fitness and good health. Most studies indicate that rest and recovery between workouts are necessary for helping the body adapt and recuperate from the last workouts.
Exercise requires us to use our body’s energy stores and fluids, so rest and recovery give the body time to replenish these energy stores. Several studies have shown that the body needs at least 24 hours to fully replace our muscle’s store of carbohydrates.
Maintaining an adequate store of our body’s carbohydrate, is important for training and maintaining stable blood sugar levels. However, less time is required to recover our fluids.
Studies have found it takes only around one to two hours to replace fluids lost as sweat during exercise. But bodies still require several hours of rest following exercise to maintain hydration, due to the continued production of urine.
Training may also damage the body’s tissues. In order for muscle to recover and improve they require several weeks of cycles of exercise and recovery. Research shows our bodies require a longer rest period in order to build muscle tissue.