Rest and Recovery, these are some of the most important aspects to a fitness program, but all too often the easiest to ignore. The truth is without incorporating recovery time into your training program you will cause more harm than good.

1) Muscles Cannot Rebuild or Grow

The whole point of exercise is to break down the muscle tissue so it can rebuild stronger and larger depending on the type of training you are doing. It is recommended to give your body a 48 hour break in between exercising a certain muscle group so those muscles have proper time to heal.


When you do not give yourself that rest and continue to exercise your muscles, the body cannot repair itself and ultimately your training will suffer. If the muscles can never have the time to rebuild they will consistently be in a catabolic state of degenerating leaving you weaker than before.

2) Experiencing Overtraining Symptoms

Overtraining is when a person does not give themselves adequate rest and they experience a plethora of symptoms that make it challenging to exercise at all. The person can get sick more often, feel fatigued, lose their appetite, have difficulties sleeping, experience continual muscle soreness, and will typically find the workouts are getting harder rather than easier.

The worst of these symptoms is general lack or desire of doing the activity or workouts you are training for. If you start to notice a few of these symptoms take a few days off from training to give your body the adequate recovery it needs. You may want to also speak with a doctor and get a blood test to make sure you are not low in any essential vitamins or minerals.

Importance of Recovery_2

3) Injury

It is very common to feel sore and stiff after a hard workout. However it is important to pay attention to these areas and make sure to give those muscles the adequate rest they need in order to perform for their next bout of training.

If a person continually works a sore, tight muscle it can cause extra strain on the joints leaving a greater risk for injury. Instead of continually working those muscles try doing a different type of exercise or working a different part of your body to avoid any excess wear and tear.

4) Unintentional Weight Gain or Excess Weight Loss

When the body is overworked it can cause many hormonal imbalances that can cause either weight gain or excess weight loss. Weight gain can happen if the person is limiting their calories and excessively working out, causing the body to think it is in starvation mode and needing to hold on to every calorie it consumes.

Excess weight loss can happen due to the continual breakdown of the muscles. I say excess because it is more than just one or two pounds, a person can experience weight loss over five pounds in one week, which is an excessive and unhealthy amount to lose in one week.

To avoid any of the above scenarios it is extremely important to get adequate rest. If you are doing vigorous training make sure to include at least one full day of rest in your training schedule. You can also incorporate an “active” rest day that can include a leisurely activity like walking, yoga, or a light bike ride.

Make sure you also are getting adequate amounts of sleep during the evening, nourishing your body with proper nutrition, hydrating, and stretching after your workouts to help your body repair and rebuild your muscles.

Read more from Expert Shannon Dolan.

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