REST & RECOVERY
“REST” a word that is often perceived by fitness enthusiasts as a dirty word, fearing that they will lose all of their hard earned fitness in an instant. Rest and revovery is probably the two most under-rated aspects in training.
Rest can easily be defined as a combination of sleep and time spent not training and is understood and implemented the easiest.
Recovery refers to techniques & actions taken to maximise your body’s repair.
Rest days are critical to sport performance for a variety of reasons, some are physiological and some are psycological. Rest is physically necessary so that the muscle can repair, rebuild and strenghten.
Building recovery time into any training program is IMPORTANT, because this is the time that the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real training effect takes place. Recovery also allows the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues.
Importance of rest and recovery:
- You will get fitter: Your body needs to recover to absorb the hard effort that you have put in & to allow the physiological adaptions to take place.
- Reduces the risk of injury: Training causes micro-damages to your muscle tissues. Without proper rest and recovery between training sessions the body begins to break down – increasing your risk of injuries and overuse.
- Recharge mentally & physically: Incorporating rest & recovery days into your training program enables you to recharge mentally and physically.
- Consistency in training: Rest and recovery wil reduce your risk of over -training & injuries which in turn will enable you to train more consistent. Consistency is key to improving sport performance!
Ways to recovery quickly after exercise:
There are many methods of recovery. These are some of the most commonly recommended:
- COOL DOWN: cool down is important part of an exercise routine. Cooling down simply means to slow down after exercise, continuing to move around for 5-10 minutes but at a very low intensity. It helps to remove lactic acid from your muscles and may reduce muscle stiffness.
- PROPER NUTRITION: You need to refuel after you depleted your energy stores after exercise. Balanced meals in moderation is proven to be effective to remain healthy & increase performance. So create a meal plan & shop ahead for the week. Have healthy snacks readily available that you enjoy.
- REPLACE FLUIDS: The simplest way to check hydration is to look at your urine. If it is clear to pale then you are hydrated. The darker and more colour in your urine, the less hydrated you are and need to drink more water.
- MASSAGE: Getting a massage helps to loosen up muscles, increase oxygen and blood flow into the muscles, remove lactic acid build up and delivers nutrients from your body to your muscles.
- SLEEP: Getting enough quality sleep may be the most important aspect of recovery. Adequate sleep helps to provide hormonal balance and muscular recovery. Aiming for 7 – 10 hours sleep per night is ideal. Optimum sleep varies between individuals. If this target is not achieved recovery will be affected, mental strength may also be affected, thus having an impact on training. Research has shown that;
- Hours slept before 12 are more effective than those slept after.
- Sleeping in a more natural setting will create sleep of a higher quality.
- Fresh air and cool temperatures improves the quality of sleep.