When we get into a routine of exercise, fitness and health we often forget that the body also needs periods of rest and recovery. Without this very important rest, the body will not be able to get the most out of all the hard work and sacrifice you are putting in.
Over-training is not as uncommon as you may think. This is where you may stop seeing results despite training regularly. The body will not improve or progress if it is not given sufficient rest and time to replenish.
If you train 5 days a week for example, ensure you split this up so it’s not 5 consecutive days. That being said on your rest days, do something light like a walk along the beach, to the park or some yoga. If you are training less regularly it is still important to try and space out your workouts and do something light in between.
If you are a regular weight lifter, incorporating a de-load week into your routine may be a good idea. Every 2-3 months, reduce your load and do less weight, more reps. This is a good way to reset the body and increase your ability to keep gaining strength and adding more weight to your training in the future.
If you are not getting sufficient sleep (7-9 hours) your body will not be thankful. Lack of sleep not only prevents the muscles from recovering, building up and gaining strength, but also causes earlier fatigue in your training. Oversleeping can cause similar problems.
Active rest is the best way for the body to recover, rather than sitting on the couch with poor posture and a bag of chips.
Be kind to your body, listen to what it has to say. If it is causing you grief in a particular area, this is your body’s way of saying “hey, not today thanks” in protest.
Listen to your body:
Don’t ignore pain and cover it with pain killers. Instead, run a warm bath, pour in some Epsom salts and relax. Finish with a stretch, foam roll or maybe even a massage.
Remember, we only get one body so look after it like your life depends on it, because it really does.