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Why is rest so important?

 

Taking rest days are just as important as the actual exercise. Without adequate rest, your body begins breaking down tissue instead of building it. Recovery from exercise training is essential to overall training and increased optimal performance.

 

Do you do this:

 

  • Become so focused on reaching a goal, you overtrain?

  • Set ambitious goals and work tirelessly to get there?  

  • Go from working out zero days a week to working out six or seven days a week, trying to fast track to success rather than prolonging it?

For muscle growth to occur, your body goes through a series of stressors and alarm phases.

 

  • When you lift weights, your muscles are stressed and tiny micro tears occur in the muscle.

  • Your body then goes through an alarm phase where your immune system is suppressed while your body begins to recover from the workout.  

  • After this recovery period, your body goes through a “supercompensation” period, which is  when new muscle protein strands are created, stimulating growth in muscle fibers.

 

This is when muscle is built, but here’s the catch… this does not happen while you are lifting the weights, it occurs in the day to days after your workout.

 

Overtraining means you are working through exhaustion and constantly stressing your immune system.  

 

Effects of the Immune System with Exercise. Digital image. ACSM. N.p., n.d. Web.

 

Depending on the intensity of the workout, different rest periods are required. If proper recovery time is not given, the body is unable to regenerate muscles and your immune system will be depressed.  

 

If you run your body into the ground, your body will force you to quit by feeling extremely fatigued or becoming sick.

 

Best ways to recover? Think of these tips:

 

  • Do not think of rest days as wasted days, but days that are necessary for your body to improve and recover.

  • Listen to your body before putting it through an intense workout.  

 

This is not saying that you can only workout twice a week, or walk every day.  Listen to your body and your workout program.  

 

When training for a big event or fitness goal, schedule your rest days and plan for success!




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