In the past, we’ve talked about the importance of recovery. Prioritizing quality recovery is a good way to prevent burnout or boredom, as well as avoid injury.
Even though it’s not always easy to take a day off, rest days are integral to a consistent training routine. If you struggle with taking a rest day, it might help to have a plan for those recovery days. This way, you’ll still feel like you’re accomplishing something.
Here are a few suggestions on what to do on a rest day:
Just because you’re not heading to the mats, don’t slack on your water intake. No matter if it’s a rest day or a training day, stay hydrated. Start your day with plenty of water, keep sipping throughout the day, and make sure you’re drinking water with each meal.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is prime recovery time. Taking a rest day gives your body a chance to rebuild and repair itself, and sleep is an essential part of this process. So, maximize your rest days by getting a good night of sleep!
Do Some Active Recovery
Sometimes it’s helpful to get in some active recovery on a rest day. For example, you could go for a walk or do some gentle yoga and stretching. The criteria here is that you should feel better after active recovery than before you started. Any other activities where you push the intensity are probably too much and not ideal for a rest day.
Rest days are also excellent opportunities to work on mobility. And doing some movements and exercises to improve your range of motion will help you move with greater ease and efficiency. Spend some time with a foam roller to work through any sore muscles, etc.
Make Good Food Choices
When it comes to your food choices, it might be tempting to make a rest day a “cheat day.” And sometimes, you might need that cheat day. But stay mindful of the foods you eat on a rest day. The goal is to let your body recover. So, consider eating healthy foods that will support and fuel the recovery process rather than impede it.
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