Having just returned from IDEA World, I better take more than one day off after having tried all that fun stuff and feeling thoroughly beaten up 🙂
But I hear your concern: for some people it becomes a ‘slippery slope’. When we look at health club statistics, once people begin to grop off in attendance, it may only be a small step toward reverting back to a lifestyle that does not include exercise.
A concept of ‘active rest’ may help. Of course the client should listen to her body, but taking a walk or doing something of a restorative nature may well be part of such a rest and recovery period. It keeps the idea of exercise as part of everyday life current.
Recovery, phyiologically, describes the biochemical and structural processes that occur following exercise. Of course the extent is directly related to the intensity, type, and duration of the effort. Following glycogen depletion effort, for example, cycling 50 miles to exhaustion, it may take 2-3 days for the targeted muscles to fully repack their glycogen stores, that’s assuming adequate carbohydrate and water intake. Following maximal power effort to temporary muscle fatigue (like with a maximal effort, major muscle, free weight workout, (8-12 RM), it may take at least 2-3 days for the streaming of the contractile protein actin/myosin/tropomyosin/troponin complex in skeletal muscle cells to return to normal structure.
The point is that rest and recovery (including hydration and sensible eating) are a critical part of the conditioning process, for both fitness and performance. Taking “at least” a day off can be the best advice.