When you get overwhelmed with the sport you have chosen to pursue, you get yourself too much workout with the belief that it can make you better, stronger and competitive. However, fitness is not all about workout. This is to emphasize how recovery or rest is essential for your body to be strong and how much recovery your body really needs to excel in any sport you have chosen to. Don’t let yourself end up having the over-training syndrome where you end up training so hard until your body can no longer keep up with your desire and thus, making you at risk to injuries that can make you unfit to perform well in the sport or worse, could end up being prohibited to play sport for the rest of your life. Tough isn’t it?
Rest days are critical to sports performance for a variety of reasons. Some are physiological and some are psychological. Rest is physically necessary so that the muscles can repair, rebuild and strengthen. For recreational athletes, building in rest days can help maintain a better balance between home, work and fitness goals. Most athletes know that getting enough rest after exercise is essential to high-level performance, but many still over train and feel guilty when they take a day off. The body repairs and strengthens itself in the time between workouts, and continuous training can actually weaken the strongest athletes.
There are actually two kinds of recovery: the short term and the long term recovery. Short term recovery normally exists between intense workouts such as walk in between sprints in athletics. They are also called active recovery where in you are engaged in low-intensity exercise after workouts during both the cool-down phase immediately after a hard effort or workout as well as during the days following the workout. Sleep is an important part of shorter recovery. This is the time you set to allow your body to repair worn out tissues, ligaments and tendons and remove chemicals that are built during the workout. Long term recovery techniques refer to those that are built in to a seasonal training program. Most well-designed training schedules will include recovery days and or weeks that are built into an annual training schedule. This is also the reason athletes and coaches change their training program throughout the year, add cross-training, modify workouts types, and make changes in intensity, time, distance and all the other training variables.
Make sure that you do the right amount of recovery for you. Though recovery is an important part of fitness, never overdose yourself with recovery. Too much recovery is also bad and can make your previous training worthless and make you go back from where you started. It can lead to very relaxed muscles and might end up not getting used to more vigorous workout. It is always better to check up with your coach or a fitness instructor to be able to know how much rest your body would really need. Recovery is one of the best parts of your fitness lifestyle. Enjoy it but not too much so as not to forget what recovery is really for.