While you may be excited about your fitness plan, it's important to take time off occasionally to allow your body recuperate. This helps you avoid overuse injuries like strains and sprains and gives your body the chance to heal before your next session.
However, it's important to avoid these mistakes on your recovery days:
Not actually taking a break
When you're working toward a goal, like a race, it's easy to get focused and put blinders on as your keep your eyes on the finish line. However, this cause you to forget that there is such as thing as too much exercise. Pushing yourself seven days a week can quickly lead to burnout and seriously increase your risk of injury. Instead of getting to this point, give yourself permission to take it easy at least once a week, so you can stretch and use a self massager to stay flexible and improve your range of motion.
Forgetting healthy eating
Proper nutrition is imperative to fueling your mind and body through challenging sessions, whether it's your long run or you're cross training with weights or Pilates. You're eating well-balanced meals on the days you're working out, but if you don't alter your diet on recovery days you might be consuming too many carbs and not enough protein. Carbs are important as they are the main fuel source for your muscles, but eating an of carbs excess on your day off may the carbs being stored as fat, as your muscles can only use a certain amount. Additionally, you need to up your protein intake to help your muscles recover and get stronger, so boost lean meat consumption on days off.
Ignoring your body
Just because it's a recovery day doesn't mean you should totally ignore your body, especially if you have conditions like plantar fasciitis or shin splints. A relaxing or trigger point massage on these days is a great way to maintain your body and keep it healthy. Keep in mind though that resting should not be synonymous with being lazy. You can still take the stairs instead of the elevator or park further away from the front door to fit in extra steps that day.