Lively Restoration Final Information: What Ought to I Do on Relaxation Days?
"Steve, what should I do on non-training days?"
That's a great question that we get quite a lot here at Nerd Fitness.
Together with our coaching clients, we not only create training plans for them, but also help them to use "days off" with active relaxation.
Let your Nerd Fitness Coach create a complete exercise routine, including active rest! Find out more here:
Today we're sharing the exact same lessons with you (click to jump to this section):
Let us do this.
Is It Good To Exercise Every Day? (Why you need rest days)
We recommend our coaching clients to train 3 days a week with full-body strength training.
This would involve many compound movements such as:
This exeRcises train several muscle groups at the same time, which has the consequence in an efficient, functional, strategy for strength building and weight loss.
Here's the important science for today's lesson: Your muscles are actually broken down during exercise.
If challenged enough, they will tear during the exercise and only begin to grow again in the 24-48 hours afterwards Education.(1)
Therefore, it is not beneficial to exercise the same muscles every day. We don't want to destroy them without giving them the chance to grow back stronger.
If you follow our advice and do full-body strength training 2-3 times a week, the question arises: "How many days a week should I rest?"Can be answered with"about 4 or 5 days without heavy lifting.”
So does this give you a free hand to watch your favorite show on “days off from the gym”?
While I'm not going to tell you to delete your Netflix account (the horror), I do want to talk about how to make the most of your time outside of the gym.
What should I do in the gym on rest days? (Active recovery)
The biggest problem most people have with days off is they turn into cheat days!
Because they don't exercise, they don't think about being fit, and it's much easier to slack off, eat badly, and lose momentum.
This is bad news bears.
Remember, exercise is only 10-20% of the weight loss equation: How we eat and rest is the other 80-90%!
I've found that when I am actively recovering, I eat far less badly than when I am not doing something on purpose.
So plan your days off!
Do not think of them as "days off" but as "rest days". You play an important role in building a kickass anti-fragile body capable of fighting crime (or fighting with your kids in the backyard).
Indicates whether one of the Rest day workouts Following at the same time you usually exercise every day or intentionally adding a morning mobility / stretching routine to your day, it's a great way to remind yourself every day that I am changing my life and exercising every day.
This leads us to the idea of "active recovery. ”
Active recovery is any gentle movement that allows your muscles to heal after a workout.
This is a topic we cover in our guide to DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).
When you exercise, you Increase blood flow to your muscles. By moving your body, you are actually speeding up your recovery. (2)
The trick is to be active enough to gain weight blood circulationbut gentle enough for the muscles to heal.
Our Rest day workouts below this fine line will go.
You may also want to walk a tightrope on your rest days.
Personally, on days that I'm not exercising, I try to block a similar amount of time to work on myself in some way to keep the momentum going. I encourage you to do the same if you lose momentum on a day off.
It could be flexibility training, mobility training, meal preparation, and more. I will cover these below!
Whatever it is, do SOMETHING each day, even if it only takes five minutes, to remind yourself that you are making progress towards your new life.
Need help building a weekly exercise plan, including rest days? I have two options for you.
- The first is available Get your hands dirty and read our How To Create Your Own Exercise Routine guide. It will walk you through everything you need to know about designing a daily training plan.
- Alternatively, we can do all the heavy lifting for you (well, not all the heavy lifting) – We create a specific routine so that you only have to log into yours NF coaching app every morning and do the workout your trainer has prescribed!
I never wonder what to do next. Learn how our coaching app can tell you exactly what to do every day!
Day off workout 1: Mobility
We've all felt this pain the day after (or two days after) strength training or an intense run – our muscles have collapsed and become incredibly tense from all that heavy lifting.
Because of this, one of the best things to do on a day off is to work on your flexibility and mobility. What good is strength if we cannot move our body properly to use it? Dynamic stretching and mobility work prepares our body for the rigors of strength training and keeps us injury-free!
Regardless of whether or not you have a training day planned, try a mobility warm-up every morning: A series of dynamic movements that activate your body and wake up your muscles, joints and tendons. If you live in an apartment or are just starting out, you can leave out the jumping jacks:
This gives us the opportunity to report to our bodies every morning and reminds us mentally that I am building myself physically and can still eat properly today.
Here is another popular mobility routine from my friend (and trainer) Anthony Mychal. It is said to be a warm-up exercise for tricks, but it is very helpful for those of us mortals:
If you spend all day at your desk, some basic mobility movements throughout the day can keep your hips loose and keep you thinking positive.
Here is an article on how to dominate posture at your desk job.
Rest day workout 2: Fun activities
We are genetically designed to move around and not sit on our butts for more than 60 hours a week. What's more, we're genetically engineered to have fun with it too!
This means that on our days off we can spend time working on our happiness AND staying active at the same time.
As with everything going on here:
This fun activity can mean something different for everyone:
- Take your kids on a bike ride
- Walk around your neighborhood
- Play kickball in a city league (I play on Thursdays!)
- Play softball
- Go for a walk with your significant other
- Go climbing
- Learn martial arts like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Capoeira or Kung Fu
- Take a dance class
- Try live action role-playing games (LARP!)
- Play in a playground
- Roll down a hill and run back up
Read our guide, “40 Fun Exercises! Practice without realizing it “for even more ideas!
I honestly don't care WHAT you do as long as you really enjoy it – It should put a smile on your face and make your heart beat faster.
Exercise doesn't have to be exhausting or miserable. If you haven't found an activity that you enjoy, then you haven't tried enough new things.
It's about getting outside, reminding yourself that it's a damn good day to be alive and that we are built to move.
Helping clients discover the movement they love is one of the key components of our online coaching program. Whether you're learning parkour, hiking in a nearby forest, or heading to the gym to grab a barbell, we help our clients discover their passion so that training becomes a breeze enjoyable.
Our coaching program is fun to get healthy. Seriously! Find out how we can help you on your journey.
Rest day workout 3: intervals, sprints and walking
"But Steve, I have this big party ahead of me and I'm really trying to lose as much weight as possible."
Okay, okay, I hear you – if that is the case, 90% of the battle will be with your diet. You should focus your energies on eating healthy in order to lose weight.
B.But there are some things you can do on your own free days this can help you burn more calories:
1) interval training – In interval training you vary your running pace. This means you can switch between jogging and walking, or walking and sprinting (there are few different methods for interval training). This style of training can help speed up your metabolism for the hours after you finish.
2) Sprint – If you like the idea of burning extra calories and building explosive strength and speed, check out our article on becoming a lightning bolt. Find a hill, sprint up it, go down, and repeat the process for 10 to 20 minutes. No need to reconsider!
3) Long walks – Walking is a low impact activity that burns extra calories and doesn't put undue stress on your body. What a "long walk" will be is different for everyone depending on your fitness level, but walking is one of the best things you can do for yourself!
If you want a more active day of recovery, the most important thing is to listen to your body. If we self-destruct more than 6 days a week we can really wear ourselves down and cause long-term problems if we are not careful.(3)
Rest day workout 4: Yoga
You may not notice it, but yoga is the perfect addition to strength training:
Weight training makes us stronger, but it can tone our muscles and make us sore.
Yoga, on the other hand, elongates our muscles and tendons.(4) helps in their recovery,(5) and helps our body to develop better mobility and flexibility.(6)
This is the perfect way to create a strong AND agile body ready for whatever we throw at it.
It's like turning your body into a Swiss Army Knife: ready, strong, flexible enough to avoid injury, and truly anti-fragile.
If you've never taken a yoga class before, this can certainly be intimidating, especially if you're a one-and-zero programmer who is aware of the more spiritual aspects of the practice.
That was my concern years ago before I started; It took 20 seconds of courage to take my first yoga class, and I'm so glad I did.
How to Start with Yoga!
- Yoga classes are offered at almost every commercial gym you find yourself in.
- Most yoga studios offer classes throughout the day.
- If you want to get started at home, follow a wide variety of videos online.
Here is a beginner routine to follow right now:
Do you need help with any of the poses?
Instructions for all positions can be found in 21 yoga poses for beginners.
Rest day workout 5: foam roller
You will often hear how to use a "self myofascial release" foam roller.
You may be wondering: "myofawhatnow? "
Don't stress, because "fascia" is just the connective tissue that covers the muscle.
Just know that "self-myofascial release" means that you are giving yourself a tissue massage.
Most important for today's lesson, a rolling massage has been shown to help relieve sore muscles.(7) This means that it is a perfect addition to active recreation.
Here are some simple rolling exercises to try today, courtesy of NF Coach Matt:
Yes, it is actually a T-Rex. Yes, it was 100% Matt's idea.
For more information, including recommendations on how to buy a type of roller, see our guide, “Using a Foam Roller”.
Make the Most of Your Days Off (3 Rest Day Best Practices)
No matter what you do on your day off, here are some best practices to keep in mind.
Best Practice No. 1 for the rest day: Food preparation
As we know, a healthy body is made in the kitchen, not the gym.
It is important to eat hard and healthily even on days away from the gym.
One of the best ways to do this is to use one of your days off without training to prep your meals for the week! NF coach Staci Ardison prepares all meals for the week on Sundays and looks like an activity that encourages her fitness journey.
Staci will guide you through everything You need to start cooking for the week in our Meal Planning and Preparing Guide.
Also, here is my exact recipe for batch cooking chicken:
Best Practice No. 2 for the rest day: Engage your brain
I like to use one of my days off to break a mental sweat!
I take violin lessons on Tuesdays, which is a mental workout that's so strenuous that I can't wait to get back to the deadlift!
Learn a language, build a wooden table, or play chess with a friend.
Anything that forces your mind beyond its comfort zone attacks your brain. A great way to spend your time outside of the gym.
Best Practice # 3 on the day off: Have fun!
Whether we're playing a video game, immersing ourselves in a movie or TV show, or reading a book, it is important that we do the nerdy or funny things that make us who we are.
The rules of rebellion say: Fitness can become part of our actions, but not at the expense of who we are!
I'm playing The Last of Us: Part II right now and I'm happy that our current apocalypse isn't as bad as this one.
If you live to play Dungeons and dragons Make space on your calendar with friends.
Just as it is important to plan your health and fitness, it is important to plan for fun.
This guide has all the tools you need to begin an active recovery practice and get the most out of your days off.
If you want to go a little further, I have three options for you …
# 1) If you want a step-by-step guide Create an exercise plan, get stronger, and even eat better. Check out our killer 1-to-1 coaching program::
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# 2) Do you work out at home and need a plan to follow? Check out Nerd Fitness Journey!
Our fun habit-building app will help you exercise more, eat healthier, and (literally) improve your life. NF Journey also tells you exactly which days should be "free".
Try your free trial here:
# 3) Join the rebellion! We have a free email newsletter that we send out twice a week, full of tips and tricks to help you get healthy, get strong, and have fun with it.
I'll also send you tons of free guides that can help you improve your life:
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Okay, it's your turn: How do you stay at your destination on days when you don't "train"?
I would like to hear from you – are you taking the day off completely? Do you challenge yourself differently? Are you trying to do something every day to keep the momentum going, or are you actually taking days off?
Leave it in the comments!
PS: Another good activity on the day off? Take a nap
Your body heals a lot while you sleep. Get a proper eye.
Photo sources: Mikkel © 123RF.com, Have a nice Sunday for you, resting cat, rain doesn't stop a photographer, juhajarvinen © 123RF.com, running, foam roller, back on vacation,