Active Recovery Rest Days

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Take a Day

Active Recovery & Sports Performance

The importance of rest days for recovery

Athlete’s bodies go through a lot of stress on a daily basis.This is why recovery is surprisingly, just as important as training. Rest allows your muscles, connective tissue, and nervous system  time to recover in order to perform optimally at your next game or training session.

Some stress can be beneficial for strength and speed development. However, intolerable amounts of stress, without rest days, will cause huge problems for an athlete’s body. When athletes over-train it can result in chronic fatigue, injury or even illness.

Too much exercise can cause the body to become restless, which makes it hard to get a good night’s sleep.  An obvious sign that your body is telling you to decrease your workout intensity or take a rest day, is that your resting heart rate starts to increase. 

Recovery is critical for allowing muscle glycogen levels to be restored to normal. Having replenished stores of glycogen are essential for your body to perform optimally in the next training session or game. 

Rest days are not the same as inactive days. Rest days should still incorporate short walks and full body movements.  It should be designed to give your body a rest from the intense exercise you would usually put it through in a training session.

Active rest days are hugely beneficial. Participating in a yoga class is an excellent example of an appropriate activity on a rest day. Active rest days improve your body’s flexibility and circulation, which will allow your muscles to relax and repair. 

Your body needs the appropriate fuel to regenerate.  Make sure to consume nutrient dense whole foods. Make sure you eat a well-balanced diet that covers the calories you are burning in training and competition. 

Your performance will not decrease during your recovery days. If anything, it will allow your body to perform more optimally. Taking a rest can rekindle your love for exercise and give you chance to take a mental break. All in all, it’s important to listen to your body. You need to take time, even as an athlete, to sit back and relax. Eat well, hydrate, sleep and watch how much your body responds to your recovery days. Your body will thank you in the long run!