Many frequent exercisers have heard plenty about the importance of a rest day. It gives your muscles a break and helps ensure that you don’t hurt yourself and that your workouts for the remaining days of the week are as beneficial as possible.
However, including a rest day into many people’s routines can be tricky. Habitual exercisers often feel antsy or lazy on their rest days, as opposed to enjoying the day off. But “rest day” doesn’t mean you have to sit on the couch all day! The following are low-impact activities you can do on your rest days to help make them more palatable.
1. Go for a walk
Walking gets your heart rate up without putting too much strain or your muscles or joints. It’s a great way to burn some extra calories without doing a full-blown workout. Consider taking a relaxing after-dinner stroll or walking instead of driving to the convenience store.
2. Ride a bike
Unlike gym bikes and competitive cycling, riding your bike for fun can be very relaxing. While the bike will work your legs, as long as you keep it on a reasonable gear and flat terrain, the ride won’t be too strenuous.
3. Clean your house
This is something you probably have to do anyway, so why not on your rest day? Vacuuming and scrubbing can get your heart pumping and will keep you occupied for a good portion of the day.
4. Mow the grass
Similarly to cleaning your house, mowing your lawn can get your heart rate up. And, as with cleaning, it’s something you have to do anyway. Especially if you have a hilly yard, mowing the grass can be a mini-workout in and of itself.
5. Do some stretches
A series of stretching exercises are great for rest days. Since rest days are designed to help your body recover and relax, stretching just adds to the benefits. Stretching keeps us loose and limber, and helps prevent against tearing our muscles.
6. Go to an outdoor event
Many community events offer ways to keep moving without sacrificing your rest day. In the summer, block parties and craft fairs are the ways to go, and fall offers apple picking and corn mazes. There are tons of activities no matter the season.
7. Do some work around the house
Does something need to be fixed that you’ve been putting off for a while? Maybe a wall needs some spackle, or a piece of furniture still needs to be assembled. Get to work! It’ll be nice to have that project finally completed, and your hands will be kept busy.