The Importance of Rest and Recovery in Fitness


The last thing your gym members want to plan for when chasing gains is having a day off. However, the truth is that rest and recovery is just as important as going to the gym in the first place. Recovery will prepare your members physically and mentally to gain the most from their workouts. This post will look at why rest and recovery are essential in fitness and why they need to be included in every gym and fitness club management strategy.


Recovery in fitness can be divided into two types; ‘short-term’ and ‘long-term’. A Michigan State University article that covers the importance of rest and recovery for athletes states that short-term recovery takes place in the hours directly following exercise. This includes low-intensity exercise as a cooldown period. Conversely, long-term recovery refers to the planned recovery periods as part of an on-going routine. These can consist of days or weeks that an athlete dedicates to rest.


During recovery, the body adapts to the stress caused by exercise and replenishes the energy that has been used. An important aspect of recovery, especially to those who are aiming to build muscle, is the recovery of damaged tissues. The damaged tissue is not an injury; it is how muscles grow. this is why the intake of protein is essential during this process. Avoiding rest and recovery time can result in overtraining, which may lead to a number of negative symptoms such as muscle fatigue, insomnia, decreased immunity, loss of enthusiasm and potentially depression.


The relationship between physical health and mental well=being depends on time on and time off. -State of mind when training is an all-important factor. In fact, a mental barrier will stop a gymgoer just as much as physical fatigue will. Therefore, the key to promoting recovery is to introduce it in line with health and well-being. So, you should place emphasis on a prepared mental state to boost motivation and success.

A simple way to ensure recovery is promoted in your fitness club is by getting your personal trainers to encourage clients to include rest in their routines. Although there are many options, Myprotein provides a great way to think about and plan rest and recovery. Essentially, there is no clear number of days that should be dedicated to rest because it depends on the nature of the clients’ regime and lifestyle. However, the allocated rest time should be dependent on factors such as the frequency of workouts, volume of workouts, intensity of workouts and how active their lifestyle is.

Alongside this, proposes key recovery factors to consider, such as post-workout nutrition (protein and potassium), having quality sleep, and pushing limits rather than annihilating them, allowing for quicker recovery time. Additionally, the most essential notion that is important for PTs is to encourage a healthy lifestyle that balances work and rest.

A further way to promote rest and recovery in any fitness club is using décor. As you may have seen, inspirational quotes and fitness heroes are key motivators, which is why they regularly cover gym walls. In this way, rest and recovery taking centre stage on your gym walls are sure to remind member just how important it is.

Another great idea is to actively include rest and recovery in your club. This can be done by providing a recovery space in your premises. This space could include a coffee shop for a pre-workout caffeine fix or a nutrition bar for high-protein shakes and foods. Depending on the size of your gym or fitness club, this could extend into post-workout spas that can include saunas, sports massages and even ice baths.

Stressed, Depressed or Anxious? Exercise Could be the Answer

Mental health has become an increasingly prevalent talking point in recent years, and it’s no surprise when we consider that Mental health-related complications are one of the main causes of the world’s overall disease burden. As awareness around mental wellness has grown, exercise has been hailed as an inexpensive method of dealing with ailments such as stress, depression, anxiety and even sleeping problems.

A scientifically proven mood booster, exercise encourages the release of chemical endorphins in the brain and nervous system. This, the body’s famous ‘feel-good’ chemical produces feelings of happiness and euphoria. So much so that even only moderate exercise throughout the week can improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. As a result, many doctors will recommend an exercise regime for mental health conditions before prescribing medication.

Our mental health is also closely linked to the quality of sleep we get a night. There’s a vicious cycle whereby poor sleep leads to worrying, and worrying leads to poor sleep – exercise can help break this trend. The increase in body temperature that comes from working out in the gym has a calming effect on the mind. Whilst the body’s natural alarm clock, our circadian rhythm, is also better regulated when we take part in a regular exercise regime.

Noticing the changes that going to the gym has on our body can be a huge boost to our self-esteem. Better still, there’s no shortage to the physical achievements we can experience through regular exercise! You may not set out for better fitting clothes, less laboured breathing on your Sunday walk or a spring in your step. Oftentimes, the improvements that exercise has on our endurance and physique catches us by surprise.

Reduced stress levels are another mental benefit of exercise, and undoubtedly something that could make us all happier! Increasing our heart rate stimulates the production of hormones in our brain such as norepinephrine, which not only improves mood but can also lead to clearer thinking when experiencing stressful events. Some studies go as far as to suggest that physical activity boosts creativity and mental energy. So if you’re in need of inspiration or mental clarity, your best bet may be heading to the gym for a quick work out!

So next time you’re feeling low, why not lace up your trainers and head out on a jog, lift some weights in the gym or do a few lengths of your local pool. You’ve got nothing to lose and science says it’ll make you feel better!