Do rest days help your overall workouts and fat burning?

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Yes, they do. Think of it this way: you do not grow muscle in the gym. What you do in the gym should stimulate muscle growth outside the gym, which means that recovery is as important as exercise.

Exercise is like medicine: too little is not effective and too much is counter-productive. In both, it's important to get enough without getting too much.

It's best to do both cardio and weight (strength) training for fat loss. Cardio will burn extra energy during and immediately after your walks. Weight training will build muscle, which is your metabolic furnace that will burn calories 24 hours a day.

It is not necessary to do intense cardio (such as running) for fat loss. The best cardio is mild exercise such as brisk walking. It is sustainable and it will not interfere with proper strength training.

An excellent program is to go for a brisk walk six days of the week. The best time to walk is before your first meal of the day. Walking two miles will retard additional fat gain, while walking 3 to 6 miles on average will help you lose fat. "Brisk" means walking at a 4 mph pace. If you have not been walking, build up to that very slowly. You need not do all your daily walking in one session.

It's only necessary to do proper weight training for about 45 minutes every 4 or 5 days. (Do a whole body routine. Focus on the major, compound exercises, which are full squats, deadlifts, presses, rows, dips, and chins. Learn proper exercise technique and do it on every rep.)

So doing mild cardio such as brisk walking is fine with one rest day per week. Doing proper strength training is fine with only one workout every 4 or 5 days.

So both have rest days, and, together, they will greatly accelerate your fat loss. You can use this sustainable program until your dotage. If you have not been doing the weight training, you will find that, unlike cardio, which can be boring, it's actually fun. If you adopt and sustain this program, you will love your results. Train in good health! (Before significantly changing your exercise habits, you may first wish to obtain the blessing of your physician.)
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