Why is Rest and Recovery Important?
My last blog post was about listening to your body, identifying stress levels, and acting on this by taking better care of yourself.
You may not have a stressful job, or personal problems that are causing you everyday stress. Stress can come in many forms.
A common form is overtraining.
We hear in the media about the importance of exercising every day, and I would also recommend being active as part of developing healthy habits, but what type of exercise are you doing?
If you are putting your body under a lot of stress by running/cycling long distance every day, heavy weight training every day, HIIT training every day, this can also be putting a lot of stress on your body.
It is easy to think that exercising a lot will get you fitter quicker, and get you to your weight loss goal sooner. But don’t be fooled. This is far from the truth. We need to take into consideration what else is happening to our body besides the improvements in cardiovascular endurance and muscular development, and allow balance so that our bodies can work at their peak.
So if this sounds like it may apply to you I would highly recommend that you sit down, take at look at your workout schedule, and record in writing what you are doing each day. Write next to each activity whether it is High Intensity and/or endurance or heavy weight training or not. If you have many consecutive days where you are on repeat, take a look at including some balancing activities, such as yoga, stretching, meditation, easy walking outdoors in the fresh air.
Intersperse these lighter activities, and take note of how your results are being achieved. I bet you feel better, and are not losing any of the results you thought you were going to lose.
Why is it important to include rest and recovery activities?
It prevents injuries, by allowing our muscles to rest and recuperate, meaning we can stay active for longer.
If weight training is your thing, you NEED to have a rest day in between or your muscles won’t respond to the training. Period.
If you are worried about losing cardio fitness or muscle strength, don’t worry, it takes up to two weeks of no activity for any changes to occur.
Overtraining can affect your sleep. Your body is always on high alert, it is harder to wind down and find that deep relaxing state of sleep that your body needs to recover and function fully.
Your immune system can burn out. Your body is a natural at defending against stress and bacteria. Being under constant pressure to perform can burn anyone out!
Let your body rest so that when you go back, you are re-energised mentally, ready to take on the world. Think good quality, not quantity, and results will show for themselves!
Two or three days of easy going activity injected into a heavy workout schedule will help you achieve your goals faster!
Keep building healthy habits.