Exercise is amazing and personally, I could live in the gym! However, I’m careful not to overtrain because it can be harmful.
The fact is, rest and recovery are essential if you want results and progression. It is during rest periods that your body rebuilds, repairs, strengthens and build muscles— all of which have a big impact on your fitness and health goals, and sports performance. When you weight train and are trying to build lean muscle mass, resting is even more critical and necessary for progressing.
Overtraining and not resting enough can cause different unwanted results in your mood, body, fitness and also in your health, to name a few. Here are some negative effects of overtraining:
• Poor energy levels
• Depression and low mood
• Poor progress
• Muscle loss
• Too much stress on the body
• Weakened immune system
When you rest and recover properly, you will see better results in your fitness goals, such as:
• Muscle and tissue repair
• Minerals and nutrients are properly restored
• Improved immune system
• Maintained hormone balance
• Improved physique
• Better results overall
Tips for Proper Recovery
• Take one or two days off to exercise. Don’t feel guilty; remember that resting is physically necessary so that the muscles can repair, rebuild and strengthen. Exercise smart: For at least 48 hours, rest the muscle you worked. If you work out your lower body Monday, do not train this muscle group again Tuesday!
• Hydration. When you exercise, you lose water when sweating. Water helps in all body functions, including metabolic function. Drinking water and replacing your fluids will help you in your recovery.
• Good Nutrition. A balanced diet gives you energy to refuel and is essential for repairing tissue, building muscle and recovery. Eat before and after your workout and don’t skip meals— a good exercise plan, rest and recovery time, and a good nutrition are the clue to see results.
• Therapeutic massage. It helps to improve your circulation and soothe sore muscles.
• Enjoy your day off with other activities. Try relaxing activities like meditation and/or reading a book. This allows your body to enjoy the benefits of resting while enjoying stress-free activities.
• Get at least eight hours of sleep. Some studies report that major restorative functions in the body, such as muscle growth, tissue repair, protein synthesis and growth hormone release, occur mostly during sleep.
I love training, but it’s also important for me to spend time with my family. I work and train, but I have many other things to do. I rest Sundays and if I feel tired, I just don’t go to the gym.
So remember that rest is necessary for progress! Sometimes it’s hard because my mind is in the gym, but I know the importance of resting ;)