Cardio On Rest Days: Merits And Demerits

It is a common question among fitness enthusiasts and athletes whether it is beneficial or detrimental to do cardio on rest days.

Whether or not to do cardio on rest days depends on your goals. If you’re trying to build muscle, you don’t need to do cardio on those days. However, if you want to lose fat and maintain cardiovascular fitness, it’s a good idea to do a light cardio workout, like running or swimming, even on the off days.

In this article, we will explore the merits and demerits of incorporating cardio into your rest day routine, and provide some guidance on how to approach this decision.

We will examine the potential benefits of adding cardio to your rest days, such as improved cardiovascular fitness and weight loss, as well as the potential drawbacks, such as increased risk of overtraining and reduced recovery time.

By the end of this post, you should have a better understanding of whether adding cardio to your rest days is right for you and how to do so safely and effectively.

So, let’s dive in and explore the pros and cons of cardio on rest days.

Pros and Cons of Cardio on Rest Days:

ProsCons
Improves cardiovascular fitnessCan increase risk of overtraining and burnout
Can aid in weight lossCan reduce recovery time and impair muscle growth
Can improve mental health and stress managementMay interfere with sleep and rest
Can boost energy levelsCan increase risk of injury if done excessively or with improper technique

It’s important to note that the balance of pros and cons will vary depending on the individual’s training goals, current fitness level, and overall training program. It may be beneficial to consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider to determine the best approach for your specific needs and goals.

Is it OK to do cardio on a rest day?

Whether or not it is okay to do cardio on a rest day depends on a variety of factors, including your training goals, current fitness level, and overall training program.

If you want to build muscle, it’s best to take a complete rest day to let your muscles recover. But if you feel like going to the gym, do it, rest day doesn’t mean not moving from your couch at all.

But if you want to improve your cardiovascular fitness or lose weight, doing some light cardio on a rest day might be a good idea.

Just make sure to consider how much you’re already exercising and how intense your workouts are.

If you’re doing a lot of high-intensity workouts, it might be better to take a complete rest day.

But if you’re not doing much exercise, adding in a light cardio session on a rest day might be okay.

It’s always a good idea to talk to a fitness professional or healthcare provider for personalized advice.

How much cardio should you do on rest days?

Again, the amount of cardio you should do on rest days depends on your training goals, current fitness level, and overall training program.

If your primary goal is to build muscle and strength, it is not necessary to do any cardio on rest days. In this case, it is important to allow your muscles adequate time to recover and grow between strength training sessions.

However, if the goal is to improve cardiovascular fitness or lose weight, incorporating some form of cardio on rest days may be beneficial.

In this case, the amount of cardio you should do will depend on your current fitness level and the intensity of your other workouts.

For example, if you are already doing a lot of high-intensity cardio or strength training, it may be best to stick with low-intensity cardio on your rest days, such as a leisurely walk or bike ride.

On the other hand, if you are not doing much cardio or are training at a lower intensity, you may be able to handle a more challenging cardio workout on your rest days.

Will You Lose Muscle If You Do Cardio On Rest Days?

No, you will not lose muscle if you do cardio on rest days. In fact, adding some cardiovascular exercise to your routine can have various benefits for your overall physical health and fitness.

However, it is important to listen to your body and not overdo it, as too much cardio can lead to overtraining and potential injury.

Check out our detailed guide on this topic here.

Before you go…

We hope you found this article on cardio on rest days helpful!

If you’re looking to learn more about cardio on rest days, be sure to check out our other articles on the worst and best cardio exercises to do on rest days.

In these articles, we delve into the specific benefits and drawbacks of various cardio exercises, as well as provide tips and recommendations for incorporating them into your fitness routine. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting out on your fitness journey, these articles have something for everyone. So don’t miss out – be sure to check them out today!