How Too Much Rest and Inactivity Negatively Affects Your Health

Here at The Durable Athlete we believe that rest days are important for recovery and can ultimately enhance your performance, but how much rest is too much rest and at what point do we start to see diminishing returns?

In the study, “Physical Activity and Sedentary Time: Association with Metabolic Health and Liver Fat” scientists took healthy and active individuals, that were getting at least 10k steps per day, and had them become much more sedentary, reaching less than 1,500 steps in a day. 

Within a matter of two weeks, the study participants experienced a decline in artery function and an increase in liver fat production. FYI- having small amounts of fat in your liver is okay but too much of it can cause major health issues. An abundance of fat in your liver can cause inflammation, fatigue, and a decrease in metabolic function.

Basically, our bodies crave movement and incorporating regular movement into our lives is essential for optimizing how our body functions! This study shows that when you take regular movement away from someone’s daily lifestyle for just two weeks, their body begins to shut down and their overall health and function decreases.

What Can We Do?

Here are 3 tips that can help you stay in balance:

  1. Don’t get stuck in a rut! While it is totally normal and okay to take a day or two off, find a friend that can hold you accountable to get back on your routine! Having an accountability partner is a great way to stay on track when you lose your momentum.
  2. Move during commercial breaks! Rather than checking your phone during a commercial break, use that time to get up and move your body! Perform a stretch, foam roll, move through your favorite mobility drill or simply walk around your home.
  3. Find a way to stay moving even if you can’t make it to the gym! This can be in the form or walking, swimming, hiking, running, or going for a nice bike ride!

In Conclusion

Although we are big advocates of taking rest days seriously, we do not want people to mistake rest for laziness. Rest can be intentional and productive, and we are here to help you understand when and where it best fits into your training cycle and busy lifestyle to get you optimal results! If you are interested in learning more about optimizing your recovery to optimize your performance, check out our FREE 7-Day Mobility Series and stay tuned for The Durable Athlete app!

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