What Happens To Your Body With No Rest Days
When you find a sport or activity you love, it's easy to get addicted to it. So much that you don't want to miss out. So you don't give yourself a break.
While I admire your dedication and a no excuse attitude, skipping rest days is actually doing more harm than good for your body. Rest days is when your body actually repairs and grows muscle!
Effect of no rest days can lead to "overtraining syndrome." You may already have it, but you're unaware of it because you don't like to make excuses.
Trust me, I've been there myself. I felt like a failure if I skipped out on a day of training or didn't sweat on a rest day. I still get caught up sometimes with the excitement of training and that fear of missing out. But I've learned my lesson, and rest days are a staple in my training schedule. Two rest days a week.
Here's what happens to your body when you don't take rest days, or do an excessive amount of volume with endurance type training.
Your heart gets overloaded!
Your resting heart rate and sub maximal exercise heart rate are increased. Workouts start to get harder and you feel more winded, even though you're doing the same type of training/ lifting the same weight.
I'm sure you're well aware that high cortisol and cortisone (stress hormones) are not so great for fat loss. In fact, this is what causes you to store belly fat! These elevated levels also depress your immune system, meaning you probably get sick more often.
Glycogen stores are depleted
Glycogen is your body's energy source that comes from carbs. Decreased glycogen means your muscles fatigue more quickly.
You start to plateau, so you probably push even harder, which is even worse for you. Eventually, your fitness starts to decline. Your muscles literally can't recover and regenerate between sessions. Performance gets worse and worse.
Body composition starts to suffer!!! So you probably train even harder because you think you're doing something wrong.... well you are.. but your training is not the problem. It's the lack of REST that's the problem.
You lose muscle mass
Consistent breakdown of muscles through training + no recovery= goodbye muscles!
Meaning... goodbye definition, goodbye being lean and toned. Hello flabbiness!
You feel TERRIBLE!!!
Inflammation, swelling, and tenderness from your muscles that aren't able to heal between sessions. Joints start to hurt. Aches and pains don't go away. You feel physically exhausted and drained.
It messes with you mood and sleep
Your muscles aren't the only ones going through extreme fatigue and stress. It affects your adrenal system and your mind! You feel unmotivated, tense, moody, angry, and lose your confidence.
You may also have trouble sleeping when your body is under constant fatigue. Poor sleep is directly related to fat gain and muscle breakdown.
You may feel good now, but trust me when I tell you.. it WILL catch up to you.
If your nutrition is on point.. and you're wondering why you feel flabby, why you're not losing any fat, or making any gains at the gym, perhaps it's time to prioritize rest days.
REST DAY ACTIVITIES
What you do on your rest days really depends on your fitness level, but everyone needs a FULL rest day at least once a week.
We see professional athletes doing light training sessions or going for "easy" 10k runs on their rest days. This may be a light day for them, not you. You also have no idea what "supplements" these athletes are taking, but I won't get into that here.
I know some of you follow my IG account and see some of my rest day activities. Usually involving some light steady state cardio, stretching, and lots of sweat. Please understand, I've been an athlete my entire life, what feels like a rest day for me does not apply to everyone. My definition of a "light" workout, may not apply to your definition of a light workout, it's all relative on your level of fitness. But please know, I take 1 FULL rest day every week, sometimes 2 if my body needs it.
Do your body a favor and give it the rest it needs!
Go for a light walk
Get plenty of water
Keep nutrition on point on rest days
Go for an easy swim
Incorporate full rest days into your training schedule and watch your body composition transform for the better.
I understand that you're dedicated, driven, and mentally tough. But it takes a lot more to actually step back and rest.
So challenge yourself to do so.
Show me how tough you really are :)
Take a rest day!