30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge Day 7: Here's Your Excuse to Take a Rest Day (Yay!)

Katie hanging out on couch upstairs or hanging chair upstairs with book
Who's the champion? YOU are! (Image: Kristen Schellenberg / LIVESTRONG.COM)

Congratulations! You’re moving full steam ahead on your fitness journey. You’ve been eating clean and tracking your progress. You’re checking your macros and hydrating like a champ. But even champions know that it’s necessary to take a break. They’re called rest days.

Rest days are an important part of your transformation. Give yourself at least one rest day every week to allow your body to repair and help prevent injury. The more you push your body to handle more strenuous physical activity, the more you need a rest day.

Why You Need Rest Days

Aside from just needing a mental break from pushing yourself in the gym, if you're doing something strenuous like weightlifting or running, you're causing micro-tears to your muscles. Your body needs a rest day to repair, rebuild and come back stronger.

Even if you're not doing a high-impact workout, if you never rest, you won't see any progress and you'll risk over-training, which comes with some nasty side effects like trouble sleeping, reduced motivation, constant muscle soreness and depression.

However, don’t embrace your former couch-potato side and translate "rest day" as a full day of lying around the house. Consider your rest day as a day without the challenge of strenuous exercise — not a day without any physical activity at all.

You want the benefit of circulation to deliver nutrients to your muscles, and movement enhances circulation. Lounging on the couch for 12 hours does not (sorry!).

5 Low-Key Ideas for Enjoying a Rest Day

How to Join the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge

using a smartphone to track calories eaten on the MyPlate app
Tracking is easy with MyPlate. (Image: LIVESTRONG.COM)

Copyright © 2018 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.