What to do on exercise rest days

Your body needs time to rest between workouts to repair and recover. Rest days are so important when it comes to training and fitness, and they really, really shouldn’t be ignored. Read on to discover what to do on exercise rest days.

Make sure you take at least one rest day a week but that doesn’t mean lying around doing nothing! Here are some great ideas to help aid your recovery…

1. Active Recovery

Going for a gentle walk or cycle can help you recover and reduce muscle soreness, remember delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) are completely normal part of training.

Doing gentle exercise gives your muscles time to adapt to the work you’ve put in and also helps you to get stronger. 

2. Get some sleep

Resting on rest days can actually be a good idea! So many people are lacking sleep regularly, so take the opportunity to get an extra hour if you can.

Sleep is so beneficial for the body, both mentally and physically and shouldn’t be underestimated. If you feel tired, take some time out and catch up on those extra hours you’ve been missing. Your body will thank you for it!

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3. Stretch

Stretching is extremely useful for reducing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness as well as keeping muscles healthy. Stretching can even be relaxing if you can manage to get in the right frame of mind!

Foam rolling is another technique you can use to help stretch as well as relax muscles and reduce pain.

4. Eat to recover

What you eat on rest days is just as important as the food you choose on the days you are training. Proper nutrition with plenty of protein and carbohydrate gives your body the building blocks it needs to recover fully. 

You could use your rest day for meal prep so that you have food ready for the rest of the week.

5. Stay hydrated

You know how important it is to stay hydrated during and after a workout, right? Well this mentality shouldn’t stop on your rest days. Water plays a critical role in exercise recovery as it acts as a lubricant for muscles and joints, helping you avoid muscle cramps and soreness. You don’t always have to get your hydration from water, you can also hydrate through foods such as watermelon and strawberries.


Rest days are a really important part of your routine and will help you avoid overtraining and injury. Remember, building a healthy, sustainable fitness routine is listening to your body and knowing when to rest.

If you have any questions please email me. I love hearing from you and always answer your messages personally. Send me an email anytime at contact@alexia-clark.com.

Alexia Clark