What to Do on Off Days From Weightlifting?

What to Do on Off Days From Weightlifting?

Lifting weights helps strengthen your muscles and bones, improves your balance and makes you feel more confident in your appearance. With all of these benefits, you might think training every day would be productive. In actuality, your body needs time to rest and recover. Working the same muscle groups every day leads to over training. This can lead to weakness, fatigue, mood swings and injuries. Your best bet is to take at least one day off between workouts. Instead of waiting for your next workout, perform an activity that does not involve heavy lifting.

Move With Cardio

Cardiovascular exercise, such as running, biking, swimming, elliptical training, stair climbing, kickboxing and step aerobics, benefits your training regimen when you perform its on your off days. The time you set aside for cardio should be based on your personal goals. Thirty minutes of physical activity will help you maintain your health, notes the American College of Sports Medicine, and 60 to 90 minutes will promote weight loss.

Flow With Yoga

Better flexibility will help you move weights with more efficiency and reduce your chances of a connective tissue injury. During yoga, you hold the body in poses or asanas for extended periods. This stretches and strengthens muscles, and takes concentration. You can learn yoga by taking classes or through participating as you play a DVD.

Pilates for Your Core

Pilates specifically zeros in on the core musculature. The core is the area between the shoulders and hips on both sides of the body. A strong core helps you perform weight training and daily movements with more efficiency. This makes Pilates a good addition to your off-day program. Pilates improves posture, notes the American Council on Exercise. A typical Pilates exercise consists of quick, precise movements of the arms, legs or trunk for a short set of repetitions.

Sports for Fun

A recreational sport keeps you active on your off days and provides fun, provided you do what you like. Look for a sport that interests you, such as flag football, basketball, racket sports, volleyball or dodgeball. Or you can go for a light bike ride, play ball in the park with a friend or take your dog to toss a disk.