Do you find there are days when you struggle to fit in a training session? Well here’s some good news; recovery or rest days are just as important as the days you train. In fact athletes and fitness enthusiasts at every level purposefully build this crucial component into their training programs.
While you need to challenge your body in order to increase your fitness, the actual physiological gains occur during rest and recovery. Using rest and active recovery with proper exercise will produce greater results than would be achieved by only concentrating on the work component. The key is finding balance and working out at the right level of effort so that you enhance your training results. Go for quality training rather than quantity.
While effort is 50 percent of the training equation, recovery is the other important half. To see results, you need to train hard enough to overload your body in a positive way, but not so hard that you do damage. Positive overloads cause the body to respond with increases in strength and cardiovascular capacity. When balanced with rest and recovery, this positive overload provides the optimal training formula.
If you attempt maximum effort workouts every day, you risk overtraining. This can lead to fatigue, becoming stale and an increased risk of injury. Building rest and recovery into your workout will keep your sessions productive and your body healthy. Here are a few tips on how;
1. Engage in active recovery. This is productive recuperation performed between sets or workouts. Gentle stretching between strength exercises allows you to rest the working muscles without total inactivity.
2. Vary the intensity of your sessions throughout the week. As a general rule, one or two days of hard training should be followed by an equal number of recovery days.
3. Alter the exercises within your program. Performing the same exercise at the same intensity every workout is not recommended if you want to see results. Changing your program will keep your body challenged as it adapts to each new stimulus.
4. Have at least one full rest day each week. If you must do something, try stretching or an easy walk outdoors. This will leave you rejuvenated for your next few days of training.