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In as much as it is good to work out as much as possible to keep the momentum, it is also a salient part of the weight loss program that you rest your body. This is the recovery phase that your muscles need to repair and relax. Too much stress from prolonged workout without proper rest and recovery can lead to exhaustion or even injuries, muscle and joint pains and stress fractures.
Small bouts of movement everyday are important, but daily intense physical activity is not advisable. Small bouts of activities include walking, swimming, yoga, Pilates.
Apart from the aforementioned, it can also cause decreased immunity and performance, poor sleeping patterns, reproductive disorders and altered hormones, appetite loss and mood swings.
Resistance training for instance breaks the body’s tissues down causing microscopic tears so rest days ensure that these muscles, nerves, bones and connective tissue are given time to rebuild and make them stronger; the aim is to recover fully but not so much time to lose the gains made.
It is advised that at least 48 hours of rest is essential: one or two days rest between sessions has been suggested for beginners training three days per week and experienced exercisers training two days per week. The most important thing is to listen to your body to know when it needs a break. Chronic muscle or joint soreness is a sign your body needs a time out.
Getting enough sleep is also important, as well as maintaining a good diet (protein is essential) and hydration level. Supplements can also be taken to aid recovery.