Rest Days

Did you work out on Monday this week? And Tuesday?
How about Wednesday?
If Wednesday wasn't your rest day, Thursday needs to be! In Week 1 of your new program it's important not to jump in too hard. Even if you're used to working out, CrossFit is different. We know it's exciting to start a new routine, and you don't want to miss out on anything!

However, it's also really important that you get adequate rest. Not resting the right amount can lead to overtraining. Risks of overtraining include:

  • Decreased performance
  • Fatigue
  • Negative hormonal changes
  • Poor sleeping patterns
  • Decreased immunity
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Injury

So while regular exercise is 100% healthy, as you can see, overdoing it is pretty unhealthy. Hydration, eating properly (especially protein within 30-60 minutes post workout) and sleeping 6-8 hours per night all play an important role in enabling your body to recover and build muscle. If your goal is to build muscle, lack of sleep and recovery will hinder your body's ability to grow new muscle tissue. If your goal is to lose weight, not resting enough may create such fatigue that you will feel unable to control your sugar and carbohydrate intake.

There is no single answer as to high many rest days a person needs. Individual factors will come into play here such as age, longevity of time working out (did you just start or have you been a "gymrat" for the last 10 years?), intensity of workouts and pre-existing injuries. As we all know, kids heal quickly. If a 5 year old breaks a bone, they might be back on the Little League field in less than two months. An adult over 40 will see a much longer recovery period. As we age, our bodies simply don't produce as much growth hormone and therefore recovery time from a workout is just longer.

Your daily mental stress and occupation can play a role as well. If you find yourself in an occupation where you sit at a desk all day, get up and walk around! Focus on having positive interactions with your family and coworkers.