Are days off the gym necessary?

I’ve been at the gym for the past four days.  Today was pouring with rain so it seemed an ideal time to have a rest day.  But I wonder how necessary these are.  Because I have alternating gym days where I target different muscles, I never feel too sore to go to the gym.

One thing I notice on my off days is that I invariably crave and eat high fat and sugar foods.  I suspect it’s because I’m no longer releasing endorphins and my mood usually needs a lift one way or another.  But eating junk food on an off day seems very counter-productive. (Though, I guess eating it on a gym day is asking for a heart attack, too)

I’ve been reading a bit of Davey Wavey’s fitness blog, and here he mentions that gyming 6 days a week should be the maximum.  Maybe days off are recommend not to give your muscles a break, but to help with overall energy levels.  I guess if you go every single day, you might get burnt out.  Still, the impatient side of me can’t help but feel that days off are wasted days.

Could I perhaps do some lighter exercise on my days off? Go for a walk? Or does that defeat the purpose? For the moment, I’m happy doing 4 days on, 1 day off.  But I’d appreciate any comments readers might have.

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