The Importance of Rest


Exercise and rest are both key to reaching our fitness goals. Just like peanut butter needs jelly, working out needs rest. It’s important to listen to what your body needs. We all need breaks, whether it’s a quick pause from work or a day off from the gym. The right balance lets us push ourselves without overdoing it. The exercise we do, how hard it is, and how often we do it, all change our bodies. As our bodies change, rest becomes crucial. Here’s why listening to your body matters.

Taking time to rest is important not just for exercise but in all areas of life. Our bodies work like machines. If one part isn’t doing well, the whole system struggles. Without enough rest, we can face both physical and mental health problems. Rest helps prevent a chain reaction of health issues.

Mood Levels

Getting enough sleep helps us reset and handle our emotions better. When we don’t sleep enough, we’re more likely to feel upset and face mood problems. Good sleep lets your brain work its magic, making you happier the next day.

Enhanced Brain Function

It’s clear that not resting enough makes you tired and less focused. Being tired makes it hard to pay attention and do well in your tasks. Also, you might not remember things well from the day before. This happens because your brain needs sleep to store memories.

Better Heart Health

Rest and sleep matter a lot for blood sugar, not just food. Lack of sleep can lead to high blood sugar, even in healthy people. This is because your body can’t handle blood sugar well without enough sleep. Over time, high blood sugar can harm your heart. So, taking enough rest can help prevent heart issues.

Improved Immune Function

Your immune system is a crucial but fragile system of your body that can be affected if not treated. A lack of sleep can actually delay your body’s reaction in fighting foreign bacteria and viruses.

Rest is key in fitness, just like in other parts of life. Without enough rest, you might lose the progress you’ve worked hard for. Rest doesn’t mean you skip exercise. Instead, you might do a lighter workout after a tough one. This is called periodization. It means you mix up your workouts with light, moderate, and high intensity. This mix helps your body rest and get stronger.

Letting you brain hit the reset button

Physical exertion also requires mental stamina. Allowing your brain to reset along with taking a psychological break from exercise can do the whole body good. Like stated previously, rest gives your brain a chance to process emotions and store memories. Without these needed opportunities to hit a reset button, your mental endurance could be pushed past its limits.

Replenishing your glycogen levels

Higher intensity workouts utilize the glycolysis energy pathway, the process of breaking down carbohydrates to be used for energy and fuel. High intensity exercise uses up your glycogen, a stored form of glucose, which is why you could feel sluggish after a workout. Continuing that workout could cause your body to eat up your body’s protein within the muscles once it runs out of its glycogen stores. That rest allows you to replenish those glycogen levels to maintain the intensity for the next workout.

Muscle repair

After exercising, the mechanical stress of working out creates small tears in the muscles which can typically result in soreness. Rest periods create opportunities for those muscles to be repaired to then be stronger for your next workout.

Reduce the chance of injury

With all of the above reasonings combined, this can create the perfect storm for a fitness- related injury. With a fatigued mental status, low glycogen levels leaving you feeling sluggish, and sore muscles, your body is not equipped to continue a high intensity workout. This can lead to oversight or mistakes leading to an injury that could take you out of the gym to recover.

It’s important to listen to your body to know when to rest. The need for rest days depends on how intense your workouts are. For example, if you’re doing intense boot camp fitness at ASD Santa Clara, you might need two to three days off each week. Less intense self-defense classes might only need one day off. Since everyone’s different, paying attention to your own body is key. Not resting enough can lead to Overtraining Syndrome (OTS), which has symptoms you should watch out for.

  1. Muscle strain or pain by not allowing time for muscle repair
  2. Fatigue leaving you feeling drained especially before, during, or after workouts
  3. Reduced appetite and weight loss from potential hormonal imbalances
  4. Irritability due to a change in stress hormone levels
  5. Reduced performance creating a decrease in strength, agility or endurance
  6. Reduced sleep quality
  7. Increase in illness or a decreased immunity response
  8. Loss of motivation

We all have different fitness goals, like building muscle, learning self-defense, or staying fit. No matter the goal or how hard we train, taking breaks is key. It’s vital to rest and listen to what your body needs. This helps both your body and mind feel better.

Plan your Training Schedule! Look at our Classes.

Whether it’s after an intense fitness bootcamp or self defense class at the Academy of Self Defense or simply at the end of a long day, these 6 summer hacks will be sure to beat your sugar cravings while leaving you feeling satisfied and guilt free. VIEW SCHEDULE