It is easy to start seeing progress in the gym and never wanting to stop. However, giving our bodies and mind time to rest and recover is critical.As we work out, we are putting stress on our body. We are breaking down our muscles. At rest, is when our muscles rebuild and we start to see all that progress from our workouts. In this way, rest is so important for gaining strength and muscle recovery.Our ideal and primary source of energy comes from carbohydrates. If we don’t give ourselves enough time to replenish these, our body will start breaking down fat and protein. We want to avoid this so fats can be used for storage and protein to replace tissues and aid in growth. We need to allow time for our body’s energy stores to be refilled before we continuously keep breaking ourselves down.Without rest days, there is a greater likelihood of fatigue, burnout, plateuing, and injury. Sound familiar? These are some of the common signs of overtraining that you all definitely read about a couple weeks ago in Jami’s article. Taking rest days helps to avoid overtraining.Plan in your rest days to keep a consistent schedule. Pick Sundays, Tuesdays and Saturdays, whatever days you need and stick to it as much as you can. This will also help to avoid cherry-picking, although I know none of you have ever done that. No one has ever checked the workout and suddenly planned a rest day on burpee day.On your rest day, do some light-moderate activity. Go on a hike, ride a bike, walk the dogs, dance, juggle. Pick an enjoyable hobby, take your time with it, and relax.Once you get this schedule down, stick to it and see how you feel. You will end up with more energy, less burnout, and perform better in your workouts. We put a lot of stress on our body day to day, let it have some rest.