The older I get, the more I appreciate rest and recovery days. Again, I appreciate them, I don't necessarily like them. For me, missing a day of training just doesn't feel right. I'm afraid I will fall behind or not be able to perform at a competitive level. Most importantly, my day feels incomplete if I "miss" a workout. Yes, these are my issues.
Yet, I have learned over the years that rest and recovery days are just as important as a good training day. When your legs feel heavy, your arms feel limp, your body isn't performing at a certain level, it's time to rest and recover. When training for any sport (even for a healthier lifestyle) it's important to listen to your body and take action.
FOUR reasons to REST and RECOVER
Muscle recovery: When training (running, lifting weights, etc.) small muscle fibers tear throughout your body working to reshape and build stronger muscle. Rest and recovery is important because it allows your body time to rebuild good muscle.
Injury Prevention: If you exhaust your body with too many workouts, your body will not only respond, it will hurt. Most fitness injuries are caused by over-usage of a particular muscle group. When strength training, either train every other day OR train your upper extremities on days 1, 3 and 5 while you train your lower extremities on days 2, 4 and 6.
Mental recovery: Your body and mind are directly related. Rest and recovery, I believe helps your mental focus and brings you back down to earth. When you are on a mission and train non-stop, mentally it can become draining and effect your performance. When you R&R, mentally let it all go and clear your mind.
Family and Friends: I'm sure your family and friends would like to see you from time to time. Whether you love running, cycling, group fitness or fitness in general, it can be addictive (just like a drug). Make sure you take time to be a good friend or supportive family member by spending time with those who love you.
Now, go grab your oversized sweats and t-shirt, don't touch the spandex, turn on Netflix and CHILL! The gym, the road and those running shoes will be there tomorrow.