Rest Days ARE Important
Sometimes, even with the best intentions, stuff happens and our workout doesn’t happen. Instead of feeling like a failure, think positive about it. Rest days are as important as your workout days. Resting allows the muscles worked to repair itself, and if you don’t rest, then they can’t be repaired. The prolonged stress of exercise can lead to overuse injuries, such as muscle strains, joint pain or stress fractures.
In an article by Daniel Duane, he says that “To understand how [recovery] works, it helps to know a core truth about all athletic training: We don't actually get fitter at the gym or on the road or in the pool. What we really do in hard workouts is apply a stimulus that elevates our heart rate, breaks down muscle fibers, causes the adrenal glands to secrete the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol and generally tells our body that the status quo won't cut it anymore. The "getting fitter" part -– the body's response to that stimulus -– comes afterward. While you eat and rest, the body gets to work repairing tissue damage, strengthening the heart and other muscles, restoring depleted fuel reserves and getting better at transporting oxygen throughout the body, making itself a little more efficient and stronger than before.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/04/rest-days_n_5085261.html)
Now, I really struggle with rest days. I love exercising so much that it is as important to my daily routine as showering. For me, I change the muscle groups I work out so technically I am resting that part of me, but after months of this, I am starting to pay for it and things are starting to ache and bother me. Which is not good because now I can’t go as hard on my runs or lifting as I normally would had I rested.
If you find that things are coming up all the time and that you are resting way more than actually exercising, then you might need some motivation and tips for getting a workout in (which will be a blog post coming up).
But bottom line, you need to rest. So if your job or the kids prevent you from going for that run or doing an upper body workout, stop beating yourself up for it. Your body will actually thank you for it.