Sometimes we love them, and one rest day turns into a week during our lazy phases. Sometimes we hate them, and struggle to sit still in the house without some form of physical activity. However you feel about them, our bodies need them.
Here are nine things you can do on your rest day to keep you busy and help you prepare for your next workout.
Relax1 of 10
Relaxing is the easiest thing to do, but it doesn't happen as often as it should for some athletes. Relaxing on your off day doesn't mean you should be a couch potato all day, but spending a portion of your down time watching television or reading a book can help get your mind off training and give your body a much-needed chance to recover.
Stretch2 of 10
Whether you grab the strap in your living room or head to the gym for yoga class, stretching is a great activity on rest days. It's easy to neglect extensive stretching on busy training days. Without any workouts planned, however, it shouldn't be hard to find time to take care of your muscles on your day off.
Foam Roller3 of 10
In a perfect world, everyone would get professional deep-tissue massages on rest days, but unfortunately, your bank account might not allow that. As an alternative, use a foam roller to massage your tight muscles and break up the lactic acid.
Hot Tub4 of 10
Jump in the bath or hot tub to help your muscles—and your mind—relax. Just be sure to drink more fluids than usual, as the hot water will dehydrate you. Complete the recovery trifecta by using the foam roller on your warm muscles and stretching afterwards.
Elevate5 of 10
Elevating your legs helps with blood circulation and the release of lactic acid. Grab a few pillows and place them under your knees while you read or watch television. For even better results, lie against a wall and elevate your legs at a 90-degree angle for 3 to 5 minutes.
Walk6 of 10
If you want to loosen up your muscles without straining them, or if you just need to get outside for some fresh air after a long day of work, go for a gentle walk around the neighborhood.
Hydrate7 of 10
You should hydrate every day. Take your hydration up a notch and use your rest day to focus on replenishing your body with fluids.
Plan8 of 10
If rest days have you feeling lazy, do something productive and plan your workout schedule. Grab a calendar—whether it's on your phone, computer or wall—and start mapping out the next few weeks. It's easier to stay on top of your training when you have your workouts planned ahead of time.
Sleep9 of 10
Have you been missing out on your sleep lately? Use your day off to sleep in, take a nap, or go to sleep earlier than usual. Your body will thank you.