I took an entire week off from doing anything fitness related after completing my first marathon. I know rest and recovery is an integral part in achieving your fitness goals. Why you may ask, well it’s simple. The body actually makes “gains” during the recovery process. Working out “tears” your muscles while the recovery process creates them anew, stronger, and bigger. There are a few other reasons why rest and recovery is integral to achieving your goals, so let’s get into them.
What Rest And Recovery Does To The Body
Aside from growing your muscles rest and recovery prepares your body for your next “exertion activity”. Without it, the body doesn’t function as well the next go around. That’s why you hear the phrase “overtrain”, because it is possible to do. You have to build your body up, condition it. And that takes a balance of exercise and rest. Of course you gotta throw in your diet there, but that’s all part of recovery as well. When you don’t give your body the proper amount of recovery time you in a way waste your efforts. Our efforts in the gym and on the track, etc., tear down our muscles. We do this so when they build back up, they are stronger than before. Imagine if you keep tearing down the muscles while they’re still torn down. How will they ever grow?
What Rest And Recovery Does To The Mind And Spirit
Rest and recovery is not just good for the body. While recovering from running my first marathon I was so excited to go back to the gym. However I knew taking a week off would do me much more good than going back in right away. Aside from allowing my body to heal, it would like my mind think about getting back into working out. It allowed me to think clearly and reflect on what my goals are, and how to go about achieving them. It also allowed me to obsess over going back to the gym, getting me more excited every day I neared closer to that happening. This helps the “spirit” in that it motivated you. It gets your spirits up, and truly gets you ready for the upcoming days, weeks and months ahead.
In the end there are different types of rest and recovery. You have your day to day types, which is why you have your “splits”. Legs one day, back and biceps the next, triceps and chest after that, etc. This allows the muscle groups to recover. But you also have to have your long term rest and recovery periods. After say 6 months or a year going straight at it, give yourself a week off. Or in between 2 to 3 months, give yourself 3 or 4 days off. It allows not only your body to have a little reset, but more importantly helps keep you motivated and fresh. Do you have certain rest and recovery routines of your own? If so let me know if the comments below, and as always I wish y’all happiness and good health!