Something Pretty Horrible Happens To Your Body When You Decide Not To Take A Rest Day

If there was ever an excuse to take a day off from the gym, then this is it.

Woman working out

Heard the popular fitness mantra “Winners never quit”?

There’s a lot of peer pressure surrounding the gym and for some fitness fanatics, taking a day off is a kin to being lazy, undetermined and uncommitted.

But rest days aren’t a sign that you’re slacking off, they’re actually really important, not just for your overall progress but also for your general health.

Speaking to Popsugar, sports performance coach Jan Milano reveals that aside from the more obvious effects like muscle damage and injury, overtraining can actually have a pretty major impact on your mental health.

In fact, if you’re regularly skipping your rest day Jan says you’ll experience “decreased, vigor, motivation and confidence.

“Raised tension, depression and anger accompany an individual’s recovery,” she continues.

The science bit? In one study on overtraining and depression, researchers hypothesised that “athletes, consumed with the will to perform well and win, become frustrated by poor performance that may be caused by inadequate recovery during over-reaching and overtraining. Part of this disappointment stems from the athletes’ realisation that they are not living up to pre-established aspirations or goals, despite having invested much in their training programme.”

Still thinking about getting your sweat on when really you should be hauled up in bed with Netflix and a tub of Ben N Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup? We’ve rounded up five reasons why it’s totally okay – nay, necessary – for you to have a day off.

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