One of the most over looked aspects of working out, maintaining a nice physique, and playing hard is rest. Most people believe that in order to get into great shape you have to work out every day for a long period of time. This is true in some cases; however, rest is just as important as working out. It is often forgotten that the human body fixes its self. It is the daily activities like walking, geting in and out of the car, picking up our kids, swinging a hammer, and so on, we break down muscle fibers. Now we add an intense training regiment and we start to break down muscle fibers at a greater capacity and a more rapid pace. The body only gets bigger, faster, and stronger in the resting period with the nutrition we give it. So in order to help achieve the goals that we set for ourselves; we need to make sure that we are also allowing time for our bodies to rest and recuperate.
Without ample rest and proper nutrition our bodies become very susceptible to sickness, injuries, and physical ailments. This can all be avoided by planning rest days from our workout regiments, cat naps during the day, or simply taking 5 minutes for slow breathing exercises. Programming rest days, along with good meals, is essential to maintaining a top level of performance, strength and strong immunity to sickness. The rest days allows our body to focus on rebuilding and strengthening its muscle fibers, in addition to, our immune system. This is done by the body using the nutrition that we give it for building materials, instead of fuel. The cap naps allow our mind and muscles to relax, for a much need break, from a busy daily schedule. These cat naps can help reduce tension and stress that normal daily activities can cause. Lastly, slow breathing exercises can help eliminate excess carbon dioxide held in our lungs. This will allow more oxygen to reach our muscle and brain. Moreover, the slow breathing exercises can also help increase the baroreflex sensitivity and decrease hypertension (The baroreflex system controls the body’s blood pressure). The slow breathing reduces the systolic and diastolic pressures in hypertensive areas of the body; thus resulting in a healthier cardiac pace and less stressed muscles.
One thing that separates great athletes from good ones is the fact the great athletes listen to their body. They understand that if they are feeling more sore the usual, it is due to over training. It’s at this point that a great athlete will stop the workout and take the necessary time off to rest, recuperate, and allow the body to repair its self. All of you are good athletes, with that said, the more you stay in tune with your body the less injuries, colds, and physical ailments you will endure, in addition to, becoming great athletes.