The Top 6 “Must Do’s" on the Days You Don’t Work Out

September 26, 2017

With a little planning, you can turn rest days into growth days. Just because you're not going to the gym, it doesn’t mean you should lie in bed. From jogging and stretching to yoga, there are plenty of ways to continue to achieve fitness results. 

Also, it's important to plan your meals accordingly. Since you're burning fewer calories on rest days, eat mindfully. Load up on protein and slightly reduce your carb intake. Drink CLICK between meals to recover faster from training and fuel your muscles.

Want to learn more? Here are six must do's on the days when you don't work out:

Work on Mobility

Let's be honest: most of us don't take the time to stretch before and after exercise. We rush to the gym, complete our workouts, and then go back home. Stretching is one of the most important yet overlooked aspects of fitness.

When done right, it lowers your risk of injury and boosts athletic performance. A good stretching routine can increase your mobility and relieve back pain. It also improves circulation, keeps your joints flexible, and helps your muscles work more efficiently.

Do a couple of stretching exercises on your rest days. Mix static and dynamic stretching to get the best of both worlds. Your routine can include chest and arm stretches, quad stretches, runner's stretches, half-squats, and more.

Yoga stretches, such as the downward dog, crescent pose, and child's pose, will are a great choice too. These movements will increase your flexibility and range of motion.

Try Foam Rolling

On off-training days, your body recovers from stress and builds muscle. It also heals damaged tissues and gets the rest needed to function at its peak. Form rolling can speed up recovery and help you get the most out of your rest days.

This self-massage technique requires a foam roller or Lacrosse balls. It involves a variety of exercises that reduce stress and increase blood flow to your muscles. It's extremely effective for DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), muscle pain and fatigue, reduced mobility, and recovery from injuries.

Foam rolling relieves muscle tension and aches. In clinical trials clinical trials, it has been shown to increase the sit-and-reach range of motion within five to 10 seconds.

This form of massage also lowers the stress hormone cortisol levels, which helps prevent muscle loss and fatigue. The best part is that you can do it in the comfort of your home!

Go for a Walk

Not in the mood to exercise? If so, go out for a walk! It's one of the best things to do on off training days!

Walking keeps your bones strong, boosts circulation, and relieves muscle soreness. When done at moderate or high intensity, it burns just as many calories as jogging. On top of that, it's easier on your joints and spinal discs.

A long walk will calm your mind and ease stress. Your muscles will benefit too! This form of exercise works the calves, hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, glutes, and ankle extensor muscles. In the long run, it helps develop a stronger core and shapes your legs.

Go sightseeing and explore your city. Find a park where you can walk and breathe fresh air. Leave your car at home. If you live in a mountain area, mix walking and hiking. These activities will energize your body while giving you a new perspective.

Have Fun

If you're not a big fan of walking, go for a run or a bike ride. Sign up for martial arts or yoga classes, play baseball, or hit the swimming pool. The whole point is to stay active.

Exercise doesn’t have to be boring or exhausting. Dance classes, team sports, hiking, trail running, and other activities will boost your energy and stamina. When you're done, you'll feel like new!

Rest days should complement your more intense workouts and lift your mood. Choose activities that you really enjoy, whether it's walking or football. Even people with injuries are encouraged to get out of bed and move around. What's your excuse?

Boost Your Protein Intake

Nutrition and exercise go hand in hand. What you eat on off training days can make or break your progress. There are two approaches you can use when planning your meals:

• Consume more carbs and calories than usual (or have a cheat meal) to replenish your glycogen stores and recover faster.

• Take in fewer carbs and calories on rest days to compensate for the lack of exercise.

If you're a casual gym goer, choose the second option. Many athletes load up on carbs and eat more calories on off training days to have increased energy for their next workouts. The choice is up to you.

Regardless of your calorie intake, eat plenty of protein. This nutrient supports muscle repair and prevents catabolism. It also revs up your metabolism, which helps in fat loss.

For best results, have protein at every meal. Fish, chicken and turkey breast, lean red meat, eggs, and legumes are your best options.

A high-protein drink, such as CLICK ACTIVE, will boost your workouts and overall performance. One serving delivers 25 grams of protein and large doses of amino acids to maximize muscle growth and recovery. Since it has no sugar, you can enjoy it without the guilt!

Limit Carbs

On off training days, your body uses less energy than usual. Thus, it requires fewer carbs to sustain itself and function optimally. If you eat more carbs than you need, the excess will be stored as fat.

Let's say you consume about 120 grams of carbs on training days. Go below 80 grams on your rest days. To lose fat, eat less than 40-50 grams of carbs on the days when you don't exercise.

You can also try carb cycling. Go low carb for three or four days in a row, and load up on carbs on the fourth or fifth day. Even if you don’t exercise on your carb loading day, it's no need to worry about weight gain. The carbs you consume will be stored as glycogen and boost your energy levels.

What are your favorite things to do on rest days? How do you plan your meals? Share your tips below!

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