Incorporating Rest into Your Pittsburgh Gym Routine
You’re pushing yourself hard, sweating through classes, lifting weights, or sprinting through your cardio training at our gym in Pittsburgh. That’s great!
But constant exercise without regular rest breaks (aka pushing yourself too hard), can unravel your efforts.
Does that make sense? Your muscles need a chance to repair themselves too, especially if you engage in high intensity workouts on the regular. Does that mean more time on the couch? No!
It’s Simple Mechanics
Think of it this way. When your car runs out of gas, you fill up to keep it running. Your body works in much the same way.
Carbs you eat are broken down into glucose, which is stored in your muscles as glycogen, a primary source of our energy. In other words, your muscles use glycogen as “gas” to keep your body moving.
Just as your car’s tank registers empty after a long drive, your muscles become deplete in glycogen after a rigorous workout. And just as you refill your gas tank when it’s on E, rest days allow your muscles to replenish glycogen levels.
When you don’t allow enough rest between high intensity workouts (and your muscles are running on empty), you may cause muscle strain and fatigue. No one wants that!
What We Mean by Rest
Don’t think of yourself as “lazy” when you allow your body to rest and recover. Resting doesn’t necessarily mean a couch day or nap time, although if that’s what you need, listen to your body! However, you can still exercise on your “rest day”, but with lower impact, less stressful, movements. Put in your earbuds and walk on a treadmill or take a leisurely ride on one of our stationary bikes. Or switch out your arm day for a leg day so that you rotate muscle groups during strength training.
Did we mention the importance of sleep? Again, you’re not lazy when you permit your body sufficient time to recover and rebuild. Sleep allows proteins and hormones uninterrupted time to replenish and restore your muscles.
Bottom line? Incorporate rest days into your fitness routine at our gym in Pittsburgh for more effective exercise – and don’t forget to catch your zzzzz’s!