These days, the internet is filled with many posts about how important it is to #Hustle to reach those #FitnessGoals. For the most part, dedication to your workout and diet plans is important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But something that you should never leave out of your routine is (arguably) the best part of any fitness program—rest!
Rest is important because it lets your body recover. If you don’t rest, you could even injure yourself.
Still, we are all too familiar with the temptation to throw away our exercise plans on days off. But disregarding your workout completely makes it a lot easier to stop exercising at all.
You may be wondering now, “How should I use my rest day wisely?” Well, there are several ways to rest well without losing the enjoyment of it.
Things to Do on Rest Days
Rest should be what it should be: a break from your daily exercise routine. These activities help you stay on track with your fitness plan while still letting you unwind and relax!
1. Rest and recover with some cupping therapy.
After the consistent days of going hard on your workouts at the gym, you deserve to let yourself chill for a bit. One great way to reward yourself while still supporting the recovery of your muscles is to use a trusty cupping therapy set for those tired muscles.
Cupping therapy speeds up recovery time because it increases blood flow to your muscles. It is also known to be a great way to relieve stress. Many people even look to cupping therapy to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.
2. Get some good sleep.
What’s a rest day without loads of sleep? Nothing helps you recover quite like sleeping does, so let go and sleep in for the day! Your body (and your mind!) need it.
The ideal amount of sleep varies from person to person, and people from different age groups require different amounts of sleep. But as a general rule, adults should get around seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
If you are an athlete on a rest day, though, an extra hour of sleep could do you even better. This is because athletes who regularly train push their bodies more than the average person, so the extra push means needing extra time to recover, too.
3. Stay hydrated.
Whether you are on your heavy exercise days or full rest days, staying hydrated is an absolute must.
Drinking water won’t just make you feel refreshed as you face the rest of your rest day. It also improves your mood and makes you feel less tired. Having enough water in your body prevents you from getting pesky cramps and prevents muscle soreness, too.
Water isn’t the only way to stay hydrated. There are plenty of other hydrating beverages out there, such as sports drinks, juices, iced tea, and even your favorite shakes and smoothies.
4. Do some stretching.
Don’t worry. Your rest days are not for full workouts! Still, you should take a few minutes out of your day to do some simple stretches because these can relax your tight muscles. It also helps you stay flexible.
Aside from stretching, you can do other exercises instead, based on your preferences. Yoga or Pilates also help keep the flexibility of your muscles, for instance. If you have a foam roller at home, you can also use that to stretch and give yourself a free massage and target those pain points in your body.
5. Have a cheat meal—but don’t overindulge!
Sure, it is so important to maintain your healthy diet even when you are resting, but it is completely okay to give yourself cheat meals, too, now and then!
Take note that you should have cheat meals instead of cheat days because it is much harder to control your calorie intake when you have the whole day to eat whatever you want. With cheat meals, on the other hand, you give yourself a single allowance to indulge in something that you like, such as sugary foods or a fast food meal.
Be careful of overindulging yourself! When you don’t practice self-control and eat too many calories all of a sudden, you could get sick. Not to mention you’d have to carry that burdened, guilty feeling with you afterward.
Remember that rest days are nonnegotiables that help you stay physically healthy. Do them right and keep the fun in them, and you’ll achieve those #FitnessGoals in no time!