If you are an avid athlete, you probably love reaching your goals and breaking fitness barriers. Whether that means exceeding your best run time or hitting a new PR in the weight room, many athletes have a strong drive to push themselves a little harder every day.
While achieving fitness goals is rewarding for every athlete, taking care of your body and making time to rest and reset are equally important. Use these tips to make the most of your rest days, and be sure to come by our Release and Restore class to take this practice even further!
How to Make the Most of Rest Days
Taking time to restore and reset can do your workout a world of good. Rest days need not only be a break from your typical workout, but can also be an opportunity to try new stretches, explore meditation, and more. Try a few of these rest day best practices to take care of your body and relax before your next hard workout!
Hydrate and Eat Well
Whether you are training for a big sporting event or simply relaxing after a good workout, hydration and eating well are key to making the most of your rest days.
Water helps your body detox, fosters digestion, keeps your joints healthy, and more. If you have trouble remembering to drink water during the day, consider bringing a water bottle with you to all of your daily activities to make staying hydrated easier.
In terms of eating well on rest days, be sure to get all of the macronutrients your body needs, including carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. A plate full of colors is a healthy plate, so look for opportunities to add fruits and veggies to your meal. Consider whipping up one of these balanced recipes on your day off from the gym!
Sleep is a key ingredient to help your body rest and reset. The average person needs about eight hours of sleep each night, but if you are an active athlete, your body may need more. If your schedule permits, set aside a little extra time for sleep on your rest days to help your body relax and rejuvenate. Taking a quick power nap in the middle of the day can also help you rest and reset!
Stretch It Out
Rest days do not necessarily mean you need to be stationary — they simply mean you should take a break from your typical high-impact workout routine. To loosen up your muscles on your rest day, consider taking a brisk walk through your local park or a leisurely swim to keep your body moving without too much stress on your muscles.
Taking advantage of a low-impact workout such as a yoga class can also help you loosen up your muscles and prevent tightness in your body. Because yoga is such a vast practice, consulting a professional about specific poses and stretches for certain muscle groups can offer many benefits. Consider checking out our Yin Yoga Deep Stretch class on Sundays at our Fremont gym to stretch it out on your rest day!
Consider Meditation and Other Relaxation Techniques
If you are an athlete who is always on the go, taking some time to ease your mind may be just the remedy that you need. Practicing mindfulness, meditation, and other relaxation techniques can help you improve productivity, reduce stress, give your mental health a boost, and more.
Check in With Your Body
Wrap up your rest day by checking in with your body. Many athletes have a habit of ignoring aches and pushing through pain. However, this is often your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. On your rest day, make a point of listening to your body and checking in with the way you are feeling. While tightness and soreness are normal after a hard day’s workout, if you have more significant pain, it may be time to consult a professional.
At Flow Fitness, we believe in helping our members foster health, fitness, and wellness in various aspects of their lives. To learn more about making the most of your rest days, talk to our trainers about the best plan for you. You may also enjoy this article about rest periods from Flow Coach Mackennon Klink!