Category: Cardio

5 reasons why rest days are important

We all want to see results from the gym, and it may be tempting to go hard every day in hopes that those all-important goals are reached quicker. But it is important to schedule rest days into your weekly routine. Here we explain 5 reasons why rest days are important.

 

1. To rest your muscles

Most of you will already know that when doing strength training and lifting weights, you are tearing your muscle fibers with the strain. The mending of these torn muscles builds them stronger. Without a time of rest between sessions for this repair to happen, you aren’t going to see results. This is also why is best to vary the muscle groups you are working on, on separate days, so they have a chance to rest, heal and grow. 

 

2. To prevent injury 

Rest days are important for injury prevention, and it’s better to choose to rest to prevent injuries than be forced to rest for weeks because you have caused yourself damage.  Whether you lift weights, run or play tennis, extended use of a particular muscle, puts a strain on your body and the repetition without a rest day can cause muscle and joint damage and that is when injuries occur. In order to avoid any long term problems and avoid injury, schedule in rest and allow your body to recover. 

3. Improve sleep

We all know exercise is excellent for your health and overall wellbeing, but too much exercise can put your body in a constant state of adrenaline and endorphins, causing restlessness and difficulty sleeping. If you have a high resting heart rate, this is a sign that your body is in a high alert state and may be causing you difficulty in getting to sleep. Taking rest days is important to calm down your heart rate and alertness which can help get you a night of sound sleep. Getting a night of good solid sleep on a rest day will also help you to do a stronger workout the next day as you won’t be fatigued. 

 

4. To strengthen the immune system

During periods of intense or daily exercise, our immune system is constantly working to repair the muscles and joints that are being used. Your immune system is not only having to fight off everyday viruses but also work extra hard to make the repairs your body needs. Without a rest day, your immune system is under constant strain and will struggle to catch up on the repairs. A low immune system can lead to you getting colds, flu, and injuries, which will put you out of your routine for much longer than a rest day. 

5. For your mental health

It can be hard to let yourself take a day off. Rest days can feel counterproductive when you could be working on your goals, but it is important to know that you can take days off and that it is good for you. From a psychological view, exercise can become all-consuming, a rest day allows your mind to take a break from the focus of exercise. Mental tiredness can be every bit as problematic as physical, and taking a rest day helps to recharge your brain. Also take the day to catch up on other hobbies in your usual gym time such as seeing family, reading a book or getting ahead with work. 

 

It is important to note that you should not worry that you will lose your your performance by taking a rest day.  It takes almost two weeks of non-activity for your performance to start dipping, so one or two days off will not set you back, it is only beneficial!

 

 

 

 

5 Benefits of climbing and why you should start today

If don’t yet know, for the next Olympic games, climbing is officially a sport. That’s right, climbers will be joining other Olympic sporting contestants in the 2020 Tokyo games. For those who are already climbers this is, of course, excellent news – and you should be raising your chalky hands in celebration. For those, though, who don’t yet know the delights and benefits of climbing, we at WriteUp are going to list for you the benefits of climbing and reasons why you should start today. Trust us, by the end of it you’ll never look at rocks the same way again.

climbing1. You’ll get fit

Climbers are generally super fit, but then this is no surprise as the sport perfectly blends strength and cardio exercises. During a typical climbing workout, you’ll use your arms, legs, grip, as well as your core – yes, that’s right, your core – climbing greatly relies on a strong core to give you that all-important balance. Even better, you’ll be using all of these muscles at the same time, its no wonder then all climbers are super toned.

2. Mood booster

The benefits of climbing don’t just stop there though. Like other high adrenaline sports, it requires a different mindset than just heading out for a simple jog. With climbing, you also have to face your fears. Namely, your fear of falling and of heights. This sport teaches you how to cope with, if not conquer, your fears. Which in turn, is an excellent mood booster. At the top of that wall, you’ll be feeling great and on top of the world (well, on top of the wall, but you get our point)

3. Reduce your stress

Like with any exercise, climbing helps to reduce your stress. You’ll become so focused on the wall, and conquering your particular route, that it’ll distract you from your day-to-day stresses. What’s more, it will also teach you the art of problem solving, which in itself is a great strategy to have! In the end, climbing teaches you many things, however, its biggest educational point is perhaps that in life, quite often, the only way is up.

climbing

4. You’ll tan

Need we say more? If you get good enough, the desire to test your new-found skillset in the ‘real world’ will become so overpowering you simply won’t be able to resist. So, to the great outdoors you will head, venturing either close or far from home (there are great bouldering and climbing spots all over the world). Unsurprisingly, spending a lot of time outside will mean that you’ll gain a beautiful tan to highlight your newly-toned climbing figure.

5. Age is just a number

The great thing, and yet another addition to our benefits of climbing, is you can start really young and just, well; keep going. Retirement can wait when you’re a climber, if you enjoy it enough, and your health permits it, you can keep on hanging in there. Quite literally.

It’s a great way to get healthy, not to mention meet new, interesting people to climb with. A sport which has witnessed a huge surge in popularity, thanks in part to climbing stars such as Alex Honnold and Hazel Findlay (both are well worth a Google). Thing is, there really is no reason for you to not put on some climbing shoes, chalk your hands up and tackle that climb. And like we said in the beginning, boulders will never look the same again.