Why Rest Days Are So Important

When you finally find an exercise you enjoy, it’s great to immerse yourself in it. Because unlike most of our favourite habits (like eating takeout in front of Netflix), this one is actually good for you - which means you can do it more often, right? Correct - but not all the time. Because just as it’s important to keep active, it’s equally as important to take adequate rest days. It’s all about balance, as they say.

Rest days are needed to allow your body - and your mind - to recover from your workouts, and if you want to enjoy sustained progress, you’re going to need to put your feet up every now and again. But how many rest days should you take, what are the benefits and do you need to spend all day glued to the sofa?

Let us take you through everything you need to know about rest and recovery.



Exercise is meant to feel challenging - it means your body has worked hard. But that means you need to give it adequate time to rest and consolidate the progress you’ve already made. If you push your brain too hard at work, you burnout. It’s the same with your body. 

In fact, your muscle actually develops and grows in its ‘repair phase’. So, by allowing your muscles to rest, you’re essentially helping your muscles to get stronger, meaning you’ll be able to do the same workout with less effort in the future. 

READ MORE: Everything You Need To Know About Building Muscle Naturally


The more you overtrain muscle groups, the more likely you are to cause an injury. For example, if you were to squat with weights, ideally, you shouldn't train the same way again for a few days. 

Although your muscles may ‘feel’ ready to train, your central nervous system might be pretty fatigued, leading to bad movement patterns and form, which can increase your risk of injury. 


If you knew you would actively perform better - and be able to push yourself further - by giving yourself a rest day, would that keep you out of the gym? Well, you’d better believe it!

Recovery days are vital in ensuring optimal performance during your training sessions. When your body is well-rested and you’ve had sufficient sleep, you’ll be able to maintain a higher intensity of exercise and put in the effort required to get the results you want. 

Taking time off also helps to keep your motivation running on overdrive, preventing exercise from becoming a chore. It’s like they say, absence makes the mojo grow stronger.


Maintaining a healthy lifestyle long-term means making it sustainable. But if you don’t factor in rest days, that becomes much harder, logistically and physically.

Taking rest days and establishing a flexible workout schedule that works around your lifestyle will help protect the longevity of your training and keep you fitter and stronger for longer. 

READ MORE: How To Introduce Fitness Into Your Weekly Schedule


Rest days are there to be taken when you feel you need them - there’s no prescriptive as to exactly which days of the week they should fall on. However, the following factors will influence how often you should take a rest day:

  • The type of training you do;
  • The frequency of your training;
  • The intensity of your training;
  • Your age and genetics.

If you focus mainly on strength training, theoretically, you could take just one day a week. This is because your body will be somewhat ‘actively recovering’ during the week. For example, on your lower body day, your upper body will most likely be ‘resting’ and vice versa. However, if running or cardio is your holy grail, then you should look to double the amount of rest days you take.

The menstrual cycle can also affect some women too. During your period, your progesterone and oestrogen levels are at their lowest, which can make you feel more tired than usual. Discover how to sync your cycle with your training to optimise your workouts here.


There are a number of signs that can indicate you need to take a rest day, including:

  • Sleeping issues. High levels of cortisol and adrenaline can make it hard to get quality sleep.
  • Fatigue. Pay attention to extreme exhaustion. If you feel spent or are struggling to concentrate, let your body rest.
  • Emotional changes. When you’re physically burnt out, hormones like serotonin and cortisol become imbalanced. This can cause changes like irritability, high stress levels, low motivation and mood swings.
  • Persistent muscle or joint pain. While it’s normal to feel sore after exercise, persistent soreness is a red flag. It means your muscles haven’t recovered from previous workouts.
  • Reduced performance. If your normal routine feels difficult, or if you stop seeing progress, take a rest day.

    Actively listening to your body and being intuitive about how you move and treat your body is the key to monitoring burnout and fatigue levels.

    READ MORE: Signs You’re Suffering From Exercise Burnout


    Rest days look different to everyone. For some, it’s their time to go full-on couch potato mode with a pile of snacks (healthy, of course) and their favourite films lined up. Others enjoy indulging in self-care rituals and routines - looking after themselves from the inside out.

    That being said, active recovery can be beneficial too. Low-impact workouts, like yoga, walking and swimming, help you stay active without overstressing your body. They also let you enjoy exercise in a more relaxing way.

    However you choose to spend your downtime, make sure you’re allowing your mind to rest as much as your body. 

    Don’t forget your rest day essentials too! When we hear the term rest day, we tend to think of comfort and cosy vibes and that’s exactly what our loungewear collection is here to deliver. Featuring relaxed silhouettes, super comfy materials and chilled-out designs, our rest day pieces will ensure you can enjoy your rest day your way.

    Whether you’re a novice or seasoned athlete, regular rest is essential to your wellbeing. Without enough breaks, you’re less likely to achieve the goals you set in the first place. 

    Letting your body rest is the best thing you can do for fitness success.