Rest and recovery are two very important words and concepts vital to optimal performance and success. However, they are often overlooked or intentionally avoided. Repeated intense workouts can cause micro-tears in your muscle fibers, significant impact to your joints and a drain on your energy reserves. To improve or even continue to function at your current level of performance, your body needs down time.
A rest/recovery day allows your body time to repair, rebuild and replenish its reserves. Not quite sure how to take a day off? Try taking a short walk and then spending some good quality time stretching or using the foam roller. Attempt a beginner yoga class. Swim a few easy laps, and then get in the therapy pool and unload your joints and muscles. Or enjoy the hot tub for 10 to 15 minutes followed by a cold shower. Go for an easy bike ride around your neighborhood and then stretch or do some light core work.
A recovery day usually involves light activity that doesn’t feel like work. However, you can always choose to spend your recovery time simply taking the day off. Everyone should take at least one recovery day per week or maybe more depending on how hard you have worked. Overtraining is not only counter-productive but can result in injury. Everyone always deserves a day off.