The Importance of Rest Days & Recovery

In our fast-paced world, the notion of taking a break can sometimes feel like a luxury we cannot afford. We are bombarded with messages promoting constant productivity, leading many to believe that rest is synonymous with laziness. However, this mindset neglects a fundamental truth: our bodies and minds need rest days to thrive.

Organizing post workout recovery is important for sustaining your body, mind and workout routine. The empowering community and results driven team at F45 are here to help you in each step of your fitness journey. Below, we’ll dive into why implementing regular rest days into your routine is not just beneficial, but essential for your workout goals.

Why is recovery so important in fitness?

Recovery is just as important as working out. Think of rest days as opportunities to lock-in all the hard work you’ve put in during an F45 workout! This is where we prepare ourselves for our next exercise routine and take steps to prevent burnout in our general life. Recovery days will look different for each person, depending on their workout and lifestyle, but there are some key principles everyone should follow – let’s explore them below.

Hydration: Drinking plenty of water can increase blood flow and help spread nutrients around the body for recovery1.

Fuel: Eating a balanced healthy diet with plenty of carbohydrates and protein can help replenish energy stores and rebuild muscle.

Repair: Eating high-quality protein and getting plenty of sleep can encourage faster muscle growth and repair2. Read our guide on the relationship between sleep quality, exercise and health.

Relax: Sometimes less is more! Take time to mentally unwind, enjoy your favourite relaxing hobbies or spend time with friends or family. This is key to maintaining workout motivation and a positive life balance.

Light exercise: going for a walk or performing low-intensity active or passive exercises can support recovery by increasing blood flow to your muscles3. For the optimal rest day workout, try F45’s recovery session.

How often should you be taking rest days?

Studies have found that people who workout 4-5 days per week (consecutively) or 2-3 days per week (with a rest day or two in between) can experience similar results4. Our results can be influenced by the intensity of each workout and how effective we recover. At F45, we understand our members have different time constraints and we encourage sustainable post workout recovery routines for everyone. Here’s our guidelines for rest day frequency:

  • If you’re working out 4-5 days per week, you should take two recovery days per week.
  • If you’re working out 2-3 times per week, you should take 4-5 recovery days per week.

F45 workouts are already designed to help recovery and it’s common for members to attend a recovery session in between days. This helps to maximise performance in their next workout session. We encourage our members to synchronise recovery days with other commitments, whether this be family, work, creative, sporting or social.

5 benefits of rest days after a workout  

Recovery days and post workout recovery are essential to achieving your fitness goals, whether you want to lose weight, build muscle or improve your cardio endurance. At F45 we aim to get the best out of everyone, challenging your body with high-intensity resistance and cardio workouts. To support your recovery after each workout, we deliver dynamic recovery sessions to nourish your body and mental wellbeing. Ahead, learn about 5 powerful benefits of rest days.

1. Repair and recover 

One of the primary reasons for incorporating rest days into any fitness regimen is to allow the body time to recover and repair. Physical exercise such as hybrid workouts, while incredibly beneficial, places stress on our muscles, joints, and connective tissues. Without adequate rest, this stress can accumulate, leading to overuse injuries and burnout. During recovery days, our tissue is given a chance to heal and grow, resulting in stronger muscles5.

2. Mental well-being 

Post workout recovery is not just about physical recovery; it’s equally crucial for complete wellness. Our minds face their own set of challenges in our modern, digitally driven world. Continuous work without breaks can lead to burnout, decreasing cognitive function, and heightening stress levels. Finding alternative activities are important for recovery after workouts. Some light recovery day activities to enjoy could be meditation, taking a leisurely walk or going to the park with friends or family6.

3. Gaining strength  

Contrary to common belief, rest days are not counterproductive to progress; they are essential for it5. When we prioritise post workout recovery, we come back stronger and more prepared for our next workout or mental challenge. This principle is known as supercompensation in the world of fitness7. If we maintain an optimal balance between workout and recovery, we can consistently increase our strength and achieve a higher level of performance. To supercharge your functional strength, read the key to building and maintaining muscle.

4. Balanced & healthy lifestyle  

So, how can we best support our bodies and minds to recover after a workout? It starts with recognising that recovery is a crucial component to a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips to incorporate recovery days effectively:

Schedule Them: Treat rest days as you would any other appointment. Block off time in your calendar for restorative activities.

Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to signs of fatigue or overtraining. If you’re feeling excessively tired or sore, it’s likely time for a rest day. If you’re a beginner, you may feel some extra soreness as your body adapts to your workout routine.  `

Mix It Up: Rest days don’t have to mean complete inactivity. Engage in low-intensity activities like yoga, stretching, or a casual bike ride. For support with active recovery, find your nearest F45 studio.

5. Enhanced performance over time 

Rest days play a large role in maintaining your workout routine. If you’re feeling overly sore, tired or stressed, you’re less likely to perform well or even attend the workout in the first place.  

Studies have shown that those who maintain a regular workout routine report a higher level of enjoyment8. People who focus on post workout recovery feel more belief in reaching their fitness goals. As F45 members adapt to their workout routine, they naturally optimise their workouts and recovery days. One influence in maintaining a workout routine was social support8, and at F45 we value an uplifting and supportive environment where everyone can thrive.  

In a culture that often glorifies busyness, it’s essential to remember that rest is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. By incorporating regular rest days into our routines, we allow our bodies to recover, our minds to rejuvenate, and our performance to excel. So, the next time you feel guilty for taking a day off, remember that rest is an investment in your long-term health and well-being. 

Next, learn how to prevent injury during a workout. 



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