It’s no secret that stretching has many benefits for the body. It improves blood circulation, increases flexibility, and allows you to perform daily activities easier and without pain. However, there’s one risk in stretching, and that’s overdoing it. So, do you need rest days from stretching?
You do need to take rest days from stretching. Doing too many stretching exercises every week can burn you out and cause strained muscles. To avoid muscle fatigue and injury, give your muscles some recovery time. Stay hydrated during your rest days, get enough sleep, and maybe go for a massage.
Read on as we explore the different reasons you need rest days from stretching, ways to detect and avoid overstretching, and how to plan your stretching routine.
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- 1 Why Should I Take a Rest Day From Stretching? ?
- 2 What to Do on a Rest Day? ?
- 3 How Often Should I Stretch? ?♂️
- 4 How Can Overstretching Harm Your Body? ?
- 5 How to Detect and Avoid Overstretching? ?
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions ?♀️
- 7 Final Thoughts ?
Why Should I Take a Rest Day From Stretching? ?
Exercise is important, but so is rest. Any fitness or flexibility training is incomplete without rest days.
And stretching is not an exception. Although it has many benefits for the body, too much of it can be harmful.
So, you shouldn’t feel worried about a day or two going by without stretching.
It has time to recover and build tissues, which can’t happen when the body is under constant stress.
We’ve listed some of the reasons you should take rest days between flexibility training below:
Your muscles need time to recover and grow after stretching and flexibility training.
It’s during rest days that you start seeing the benefits of stretching.
Any exercise (like stretching) causes micro-tears in the muscle tissue.
Your body needs dedicated time to repair those tears. This recovery time makes the muscles stronger.
Staying safe while exercising requires regular rest.
Stretching and working your muscles burns glycogen.
You will experience muscle fatigue and soreness if you deplete your glycogen stores.
Additionally, overtraining puts your muscles under repeated strain and stress.
In this case, you’ll have to take more rest days than you planned due to overuse injuries.
Boost Motivation and Energy
When you don’t get enough rest, keeping your normal routine and staying motivated can be challenging.
A short break helps you clear your mind and perform better the next day, physically and mentally.
What to Do on a Rest Day? ?
During rest days, you can do multiple things that speed up your recovery, enhance your body’s healing ability, and promote muscle building.
Here are a few ideas:
Hydrate and Eat Well
Nutrition is very important when it comes to achieving flexibility and strength.
You need adequate water, macronutrients, micronutrients, and the right supplements.
Check our top three flavored water brands below to help restore lost electrolytes.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is a key factor for recovery and growth. During sleep, your muscles recover, repair, and grow.
Sleeping well has also been shown to boost athletes’ mental sharpness, reaction time, and speed.
Massaging is another effective activity to enjoy during your rest days.
It increases blood flow and supplies nutrients to muscles.
If you can’t go for a professional massage, you can use some devices at home to help your body relax and refresh.
Here are our top three recommended back and neck massagers.
Deep Breathing Exercises
Deep breathing can improve sleep and well-being, build resilience, and reduce stress when practiced regularly.
It activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps you lower your heart rate and relax.
Inhale slowly and deeply through your belly, and expand your diaphragm as you do so.
You can do light stretches in between exercise days. Ensure you do not misunderstand the word “light.”
You can do light yoga poses to relax your body, such as the child’s pose and happy baby.
Likewise, you won’t achieve the same level of flexibility when you do light stretches as you would on a training day.
Take it easy, and don’t get discouraged.
How Often Should I Stretch? ?♂️
Stretching is very beneficial for your body if you don’t overdo it.
You can do light and short stretching exercises every day.
Try to stretch for 20 to 30 minutes at least three times a week.
On busy days, you can do a quick five-minute stretching routine.
Here’s a 5-minute full-body stretch routine by the Canadian fitness instructor Maddie Lymburner:
How Can Overstretching Harm Your Body? ?
Stretching may have benefits like increasing flexibility and improving performance, but over-stretching can have the opposite results.
Before talking about the dangers, let’s see what overstretching entails.
Effective stretching involves extending your muscles to the point where you feel a slight pull, then holding that position for a few seconds without discomfort or pain.
As you stretch a muscle, the fascia, or the connective tissues surrounding the muscle, are also elongated.
Fascia makes up 30 percent of the muscle mass.
As a result, up to 40% of the actual stretch in a muscle is caused by its fascia elongating.
Excessive stretching reduces the ability of the fascial tissues to recoil, which in turn results in the inherent elasticity of these connective tissues eroding.
Besides providing anchors for movement, the fascia contains collagen and elastin molecules that protect the muscle cells from abrasion.
When muscles are chronically stretched, they become more vulnerable to injury.
How to Detect and Avoid Overstretching? ?
Overstretching occurs when muscles, tendons, and ligaments stretch beyond their natural limits.
The best way to prevent overstretching is to know your limits and stay within your range of motion.
Another way to avoid overstretching is getting into a comfortable position.
Don’t forget to stay hydrated and warm-up before stretching.
Stretching a cold muscle can also cause stiffness or injury.
Frequently Asked Questions ?♀️
Is It Ok to Stretch Every Day?
It’s Ok to do light stretches every day. Regular stretching increases your range of motion in the joints, improves blood circulation, posture, and performance, and releases muscular tension throughout your body.
It’s best to have a stretching routine for your mornings.
As long as you don’t overdo it, warm up beforehand, and take the abovementioned precautions.
Can I Stretch Twice a Day?
You can stretch twice a day. By stretching multiple times a day, you’ll increase your range of motion, which will help you perform your daily life activities better.
Over time, the body becomes less flexible if your ligaments and muscles aren’t regularly activated.
Therefore, adding quick stretching exercises to your daily activities like walking or jogging can improve your flexibility and overall health.
Read more about this question in our detailed guide: Is It Ok to Stretch Multiple Times a Day?
How Many Seconds Rest in Between Each Stretch?
You should spend 60 seconds on each stretching exercise to achieve optimal results.
You can hold the stretch for 15 seconds and do four reps.
Then, 30-second rest intervals in between sets will improve muscular endurance.
Release the stretch, rest for 30 seconds, and move on to the next one.
Final Thoughts ?
As much as stretching is beneficial for the body, rest days are too.
You won’t see results if you don’t let your muscles and joints recover from stretching.
The ideal stretching routine starts with a warm-up, is done in the correct form, and multiple times a week.
Eating healthy and getting the right supplements, sleeping well and staying hydrated are other aspects of a healthy routine.
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Last update on 2023-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API