Hey y’all! Hope everyone is right on track with their fitness journey this week! (The weather has been beautiful and I have moved some of my workouts outdoors!) I know that sometimes life can get in the way and you have to skip a workout but don’t let it become a habit! Yes you do need rest days, otherwise your body will never recover and you will never see the results that you want, but don’t let one day become 2 weeks. Rest days will actually help to improve your strength, muscle development and mental fitness. Listen to your body, it will tell you when you need a break.
I want to get into a little more of what happens when your one day that turned into three days that is now two weeks down the road of missed workouts does to your fitness journey. Depending on how consistently you workout is going to factor into how fast you lose your stamina. It will also depend on the kind of training you do, whether it is endurance or strength training. Your body will start to change after just 3 days! Your slow and fast twitch endurance muscle fibers will start to become more easily fatigued and lose their fat burning capabilities and strength. These changes won’t be seen but they will be felt when you go back into your routine. The slow twitch or type 1 muscle fibers are more for endurance and more commonly used on a daily basis (ie: walking). Fast twitch or type 2 muscle fibers are for the high-intensity or strength training. These muscle fibers take a lot more work to switch into gear. This is why you can keep your best time for your 5K but you can no longer lift your max weights. But that doesn’t mean you won’t tire out just as fast when you slack off with endurance training too, it will just take a little longer to hit ya.
You do have this thing called muscle memory. This means that even when you do take a break from training, you will notice you start to return to the weight you were doing before you stopped rather quickly. You will have to work twice as hard to regain that strength though. Some say it will take twice the amount of time taken off to get back to where you left off (so for example if you took 2 weeks of it could be a month before you are back on your game). Others say there won’t be too much of a significant change. I believe it all depends on the person and what kind of routine they had and the type of training. I know if I don’t personally go running at least twice a week, when I try to go it is horrible. I can’t breathe and I want to give up after 2 minutes because I get tired so easily.
Another thing that goes along with these continuous “rest days” is poor eating choices. When you are working out and putting in the work you are more likely to make better choices in the kitchen. (Remember that your fitness journey is only 20-30% exercise based and 70-80% nutrition based.) When you skip a day at the gym, you are more likely to grab the bag of chips to munch on rather than a handful of almonds or some greek yogurt and granola. You are also more likely to drink sugary beverages rather than water to stay hydrated. You will grab the comfort foods which are generally bad for you (high carbs and lots of sugar) and your exercise routine. This is because you are missing the comfort you get when you workout. If you are taking a break then stay on track with your nutrition and this will help you to maintain the muscle you worked so hard to build.
So all in all, take your rest days and listen to your body just don’t forget to start back up again! On the days (or weeks) that you do miss, remember to keep your nutrition in check that way when you start back up you will still be on track. Now go out there and seize the day!
-Peace Love & TruFit