Your muscles could be telling you to take your rest days (and fatigue) seriously
Photo by Karsten Winegeart/Unsplash
One fine Thursday afternoon, I remember I was about to clock in my fourth workout session in five days. Feeling pumped and strong, I started my exercise for the day with 15 jumping jacks. At first, it was manageable but when I moved on to another set, I noticed my muscles began to feel weak.
I thought it was just laziness kicking in but I realized I couldn’t even perform the simplest moves. And that’s when I realized that there is such a thing as muscle fatigue.
According to a study by the US Medicine National Institutes of Health, muscle fatigue happens when there is a reduced ability to produce energy during exercise. It can be associated with exhaustion when the force behind your muscles can no longer abide by the movement causing you to feel weaker.
So what causes muscle fatigue during workout? There are three: lifestyle factors, physical health conditions, and mental health challenges.
For example, lifestyle factors such as lack of sleep, emotional stress, and too much caffeine consumption can contribute to your workout performance. One of the best ways to deal with muscle fatigue is to get enough rest. Here’s what you should remember:
Give your body time to recover
Fitness trainers and even enthusiasts always say that recovery is just as important as the actual workout. Take your rest days seriously because this is when your muscles repair themselves. When we say rest, we also mean making sure you get seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
Eat right and stay hydrated
In order for your muscles to function as they should, you have to have the essential vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. The food you eat plays a huge role in muscle function and blood circulation, and keeps acidity levels in the muscles under control. Prioritize food high in potassium, calcium and magnesium, and eat enough calories to build muscular health and function.
Follow a proper workout routine
Make sure to warm up and cool down during and after your workouts, respectively. This is to avoid injury, muscle soreness, and overstretching your muscles. While it’s ideal to be consistent with your workout routine, make sure there are enough days for rest and a balance of the type of exercise you’re going to be doing for the week.