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Why you need rest and recovery days

Posted by Elizabeth Comeau  February 27, 2012 02:14 PM

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Glancing at my ticker that tracks my steps, it looks like I'm slacking today.

But I'm not. I'm taking a much needed day of rest. Why am I doing this? Well first off, I'm sick with a stomach bug so that's reason numero uno. But secondly, I'm taking it because your body needs rest from exercise to recover.

Not only do rest days give your body's muscles time to rejuvenate and repair, but I find it's also great for my mental health.

When I take a rest day from exercise, I actually plan out what I'll do for exercise for the rest of the week. That way, I can look at the week as a whole and see what I need to do more or less of. This helps me prevent my during-the-week exercises from getting too boring. Also, going to the gym with a plan in mind of what I'd like to do prevents me from wasting time trying to figure it out when I get there.

And even though today is a rest day, depending on how I'm feeling, I'll probably at least try to do some simple yoga poses just to help me feel like I'm getting better. I'm all for staying in bed and resting when I'm sick, but my personality can only take so much sitting around.

What do you do on your rest days? Any tips for surviving a stomach bug?

Staying fit is an important part of staying healthy. This blog will offer exercise tips from experts as well as share the personal journeys of Globe staff members committed to fitness. No matter your age or energy level, we invite you to join in and share your own story. How do you find time to work out? What are your daily challenges? Let us know and read along -- and together, we can all get moving.


Elizabeth Comeau is a social media marketing manager at She will be blogging about her personal fitness journey and using a device called a FitBit to track her weekly goals and progress (see below). Follow her journey and share your own. Read more about Elizabeth and this blog.

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