Feeling pain, fatigue, irritability, loss of motivation to exercise, increased heart rate… are signs that the body needs rest.
Rest days are an opportunity for the body to heal and grow again after days of non-stop training. A 2017 review posted on Journal of Applied Physiology (USA) shows that intense exercise without giving the body enough time to recover can even cause immunosuppression, increasing the likelihood of infections…
Here are some signs that your body is yearning for a break.
Slow-onset myalgia (DOMS), also known as “myalgia”, is mild pain experienced after a high-intensity or new workout. If the pain increases, it is one of the typical signs that the body needs a day off. Because excessive pain can be the result of inflammation and tissue damage, these conditions all require time for the body to repair and recover. In addition, exercising while in pain makes it difficult for the body to achieve good exercise results, increasing the risk of injury in the long run.
If the pain is so bad that you are limping or unsteady, rest for at least a day and do light stretching exercises or use a foam roller to speed up your recovery.
Exercise is an effective mood booster, but over-exercising without resting the body can do the opposite. That’s because daily exercise (especially intense exercise) can increase levels of stress hormones in the body like cortisol and epinephrine. This can lead to a hormonal imbalance and cause mood swings and irritability.
The body that is in an uncomfortable state will become less focused, easily distracted during exercise, more prone to sweating and more likely to get injured.
Do not sleep very well
Excess stress hormones not only cause mood disturbances but also cause sleep problems. Lack of sleep reduces exercise recovery, increases inflammation levels, reduces exercise effectiveness, and even lowers sleep quality. Therefore, if you have had a sleepless night, don’t sleep well, or give your body time to rest the next day instead of trying too hard to exercise.
Losing motivation to exercise
If a person’s motivation and enjoyment of exercise is waning, it could be a sign that the body needs a day off. Stress hormones can negatively affect mood and sleep, reducing motivation to exercise.
When this is the case, take a day off or do some light relaxing exercise like a short walk, stretching your back… or anything else that makes you feel better.
Heart rate increased
Heart palpitations after a workout are also a sign that the body needs a day off the next day. This is because when it perceives a threat, the nervous system triggers a stress response and releases hormones that increase the heart rate to transport oxygen to the muscles and brain. In other words, when there is not enough rest, the body will perceive it as a danger and activate the relevant organs including the heart.
If you have a fitness tracker, monitor both your resting heart rate and your post-workout heart rate to detect tachycardia in time.
Bao Bao (Follow Livestrong)