Rest Day: How to recharge, and optimize your day out of the gym
Oh the dreaded rest day. Anyone else think like this? Even though you may be exhausted, working out is fun, it’s a part of your day that you can let it loose, hanging out with friends, jam out to some good music, and disconnect from work.
Having a day without this changes up the schedule, and without some structure it could make for a very unproductive, unexciting day. We don’t want this. The days of sitting on your couch and calling it a “rest day” are over. I want to invite you to think about your rest days more as a “Recharge day”
So what is a recharge day? Well depending on who you are and your personality type, this could look a lot different for different people. Are you an introvert and getting that precious alone time is going to make you feel ready to attack the rest of your week. Or are you extroverted and you can use the time to deepen connection, hang out with friends, or go on a date with that special someone.
Whether you’re introverted or extroverted, having a certain amount of the following is necessary for optimizing your recharge day. Here’s a list of things to try during your next recharge day.
- Sunlight – This is an absolute must for me. If I can get outside for that extra hour and just relax in the sun to some good music or binaural beats, I feel clear headed and refueled. E = MC^2 right? Everything is made of light, and sunlight plays a HUGE role in the health of the Human body. From vitamin D3 absorption to aiding in the production of testosterone, sunlight is a main component of building a happy, healthy body.
- Hydration – After sweating out nearly every day for the past couple days, it is inevitable that your body is deplenished. Getting your hydration back to optimal levels is huge on rest days. Just downing a gallon of water, however, is not going to cut it. Make sure you are getting plenty of electrolytes so you can maintain that water volume in your body. My go to ways are in the form of salt, ZMA, or a healthy sports drink. Tracking your body weight day to day is an easy way to figure out hydration levels. If your down 2 lbs in one day, it’s not body fat or a loss of muscle, your just a little dehydrated and using this day as an opportunity to replenish the water in your body is vital.
- Movement – But it’s a rest day?! – Yeah, move your body in other ways than your used to. Stretching, Animal flow, Conditioning, Foam Roll, massage. Anything that’s going to get the energy and blood in your body moving around is going to help you immensely and feel great for your next workout. Use your intuition and see what feels best. Here’s an easy stretching routine that you can do.
Lower Body: Foam Roll 1 Min Each
Lacrosse ball – Bottom of feet
Foam Roll – Calves, Anterior Tib (Front of Calf)
Hamstrings – IT Band – Quads, Glute Med, TFL
T-Spine – Lats
Double Lacrosse ball – T-spine – Cervical
Stretches 1-2 min each
Ankle Dorsiflexion – Downward Dog – Single leg hamstring – straddle /Pancake – Butterfly – Deep Lunge – Couch Stretch – Pigeon – Upward Dog – Reverse Wheel – One Arm through t-spine – Deltoids – Tricep – Band Distracted shoulder – Wrist Stretches
Breathwork – A MUST for me. I sometimes let myself get so caught up in my thoughts, and a 5-10 min breathwork session can be the best thing for me. It gets me grounded and keeps my head clear of noise. Never done breathwork – try this one out!
Pop in some headphones and preferably get outside where you are unbothered. Life hack – go on top of a roof.
3 Rounds: 15 breaths + 1 Hold
Inhale: Intense, deep, and fast – through the nose
Exhale: Through the mouth letting go whatever naturally comes out. Do not force your exhale.
After your final exhale hold your breath – meditate and think positively.
Watch how powerful this is, and how it can change your mindset so quickly.
Getting Ahead/Prepping – You have an extra hour or 2 in your day, you can use this to catch up on tasks you’ve been putting off. Have errands that have been stressing you out, get them done, don’t have healthy and nutritious food prepped, get on it! We all have those things in the back of our minds that we keep putting off, use this as a time to get those out of your brain and create space for the growth you are looking for!
Planning your week – Get it down to a science. There is no buying back time, so you need to be efficient. Just imagine if you could use the 2+- hours that you spend on your phone to productive activities. What would be possible? I imagine you have some wild dreams and ambitious goals. Good! Let’s start working towards them, but without proper planning it’ll take a couple lifetimes to get there. How about we try for 10 years, If you plan out your time, you can get there. So make sure you have a plan for your days to come. Don’t wing it, time is too valuable.
Fun – Last but certainly not least. This is huge, especially if you are an extrovert like me. For me my ideal day would be packed with adventure. Even an intense mountain bike will make me feel amazing the next day because of the value it brings to me. It keeps me motivated and feeling happy. When your not stressed, recovery happens 10x faster, For you this may look different but incorporating fun is an easy way to get rid of stress and keeping that body recharged!
Well, I hope you got a tip or two from this article. I find that the more structured my rest days are the better. Drop me a line @austinrowefitness on instagram or leave a comment below,I want to hear your ideas on the perfect rest day! See you all soon.