We’ve all heard it: rest days are integral to a balanced and healthy exercise routine. But when you’re on your way to your fitness goals, it can be easy to skip these in order to squeeze in another quick class or session. Well we’re here to tell you: put down those weights! Take off your sneakers, roll up your yoga mat and get out of your activewear.

Here are four reasons to embrace your next rest day:

When you exercise, you are actually creating microscopic tears in your muscle fibres. These tears are good; your body repairs them stronger than before, and this is how we build muscular strength. But in order for these repairs to happen, our body needs TIME. It is recommended to rest for a minimum of 48 hours after working a particular muscle group.

On the flip side, if we don’t give our muscle fibres this time to repair, our bodies can’t build up the stronger muscle needed to support our exercise routine. In fact, we put ourselves at risk of injuries such as repetitive strains, stress fractures and other not very nice things. So taking time for proper muscle recovery helps to keep us in the clear of injuries that would put a halt to our workout routines.

Yes, over-exercising is a thing. This basically means that if we cram too many classes and workout sessions into a week without an adequate break, our body sits in a state of high-alertness, and this can make our sleep patterns restless. Taking rest days helps the body to adequately wind down.

Mental fatigue is just as common as physical fatigue when it comes to exercise, and so over-exercising can leave you mentally drained and fed-up with your routine. Scheduling in regular rest days means that you’re far more likely to stay motivated, which improves the likelihood of keeping up a consistent exercise routine.