Rest Days: How to Know You (or Your Kids) Need a Break
Exercise should be a part of your daily life, just like brushing your teeth and taking a shower. That’s the case for you as well as your kids. Rest is an important part of fitness too, though, because it’s in times of rest that your body processes the work you’ve done by building muscle. It can be tricky to find the right balance between exercise and rest, though. How do you know when it’s time to give your body a break, or when your child needs a break?
Our bodies are great at communicating with us if we take the time to listen. Keep an eye out for these signs that you or your child needs some rest.
Workouts are supposed to make your body tired, but sometimes, you might notice yourself getting tired more quickly than you used to and having sluggish workouts that are more difficult than usual. Everybody has rough workouts sometimes, but if you or your child have several of those days in a row, it’s a sign that you need a rest day or two.
Elevated Heart Rate
Heart rate monitors have become commonplace because they’re a standard part of most fitness watches today. For both adults and kids, these heart rate monitors often track your average resting heart rate from day to day. Not only is this a helpful measure of your health but it can signal when you’re due for a rest. If your resting heart rate is higher than usual for several days in a row, it could mean your body needs a break.
When your body is overwhelmed, it produces a hormone called cortisol. This is true when you’re excessively stressed and when your body is exhausted from exercising too much. Cortisol makes people more irritable than usual. Cortisol can also reduce your brain’s levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes you happy, so if you’ve been in an unexplained bad mood, you might just need a rest.
Ongoing Muscle Soreness
Muscle soreness is a part of life for people who regularly work out and challenge their bodies toward new accomplishments. While a small amount of soreness is normal, if you’re so sore that it’s impacting your ability to exercise or causing you significant discomfort throughout the day, that’s a sign from your body that it needs some time off.
Managing Your Rest with Fitness
One of the many benefits of getting fit, for both you and your child, is developing a better understanding of your body, how it works, and the messages it sends. Understanding these signs of overtraining can help you find the right balance between exercise and rest while also teaching your kids to do the same – a skill that will help them enjoy better health and a lower risk for injuries throughout their lives.
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