Movement looks different for everyone at retirement age, and it is important to remember that while the body needs to be able to pick something up from the floor, lift groceries or walk up and down stairs, it also needs time to recover from these movements. While there are so many opportunities for quality movement and exercise everyday it is also important to remember that the body needs to be taken care of with adequate rest time.
Rest days allow for the muscles to recover which in turn aids in quicker muscle growth. During exercise the body breaks down glycogen and it is crucial that these energy stores are given time to replenish. If these energy stores are not properly replenished, muscle fatigue and soreness can occur making the risk of falling much more prevalent. Not getting enough rest can also disrupt performance level. When the body is fatigued, “going through the motions” of a workout just to say it was completed happens often. Reduced endurance, slower reaction times and poor agility are all signs of a fatigued body.
What are some common indications that my body might need some rest time?
- Muscle soreness
- Feeling overly tired
- Joint pain
- Emotional changes – irritable, mood swings, cranky
- Trouble sleeping
- Reduced performance – not being able to challenge yourself physically
What should I do on a rest day?
- Be sure to consume adequate protein and listen to your body’s hunger cues
- High water intake
- Yoga – improves your body’s awareness, breathing and flexibility
- Low-impact movements – walking, swimming, biking, kayaking, etc.
Incorporating adequate rest days will increase your performance levels and in turn, get you the most out of your workout. Without integrating enough breaks, the goals you may have set for yourself will less likely be achieved. Letting your body rest is one of the best things you can do for your fitness success!