Taking a rest day after a bout of exercise is just as important as the workout itself! This recovery period allows the body to repair and strengthen itself. A person who does not take enough rest/recovery days can suffer from “overtraining syndrome”. Overtraining can be described as a decrease in performance and even losing strength/fitness due to an increase in training and/or intensity without proper recovery time.
Recovery time allows the body to adapt to the increased stress that has been put on it during a workout. This rest period also allows the body to replenish empty energy stores and repair any damaged tissue. Without this time, the body will continue to deplete their energy stores and break down tissues even further.
Overtraining syndrome can be a real threat to the body, affecting hormonal, nutritional, mental, musculoskeletal, and neurological imbalances. These imbalances can cause fatigue, depressed mood, increased risk for injury, and a decrease in performance/strength among other symptoms. Being aware of the symptoms of overtraining is very important for athletes, coaches, and people who are first starting out on returning to activities/exercise.
So, make sure that recovery days are scheduled into your training program so that the benefits of exercise can really take effect in your body! Remember… Rest is just as important as the actual workout!