Disclaimer: Please check with you doctor or healthcare professional before starting any fitness program or regime to determine if it is right for you. This post offers fitness and health information on exercise recovery and is designed for educational purposes only.
So you like to workout a lot huh? Maybe a lil too much. Scared that your going to lose your gains? Well guess again. You may be actually hurting your gains from too much exercise and not enough rest. My dad just started up going to the gym. He is super excited and has been going everyday to the gym for two whole weeks, thinking he is going to lose the drive or the gains he made. I have told this man to slow his roll and at least give his muscles a day to repair. And if he is still wanting to go to the gym, he can do a recovery session. Man is this man so stubborn. Ok dad this post is dedicated to you. Here are 5 reasons that you need to start implementing a rest and recovery routine.
Reason 1:The Benefit of a Rest Day
Rest days are essential to overall exercise performance. This is the time when your muscles are repairing, rebuilding, and strengthening. Not only is it beneficial physically but emotionally too. There are days when a rest day lets me relax and balance myself out. I don’t have to block out an hour or so of that day in order to workout. As a mom, sometimes I don’t want to get up earlier then my minion, just to go to the gym at 5 o clock in the morning. Or go super late in the evening like 8 or 9. That one or two rest and exercise recovery days lets you have peace of mine.
Reason 2: Did You Know Your Damaging Your Muscles?
According to Scott Powers & Edward Howley of Exercise Physiology: Theory and Application to fitness and Performance, High-intensity aerobic and resistance exercise can impose considerable perturbations of the skeletal muscle, including damage to the sarcolemma, contractile proteins and connective tissue. So in other words, you are basically agitating your muscle tissues and the way it flows when doing very strenuous exercise. This can also lead to pain and soreness.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, its actually quit normal for muscle growth. But you have to rest in order for the repair process to finish, give or take a day or two. During this time instead of lazying about watching netflix, try active recovery. This can be yoga, walking, a slow easy jog, or hiking.
Reason 3: You Need To Replenish Your Fuel
So everybody knows that our body is made up of cells right, biology 101. Those cells require an energy source, which is call ATP (adenosine triphosphate). I’m not going to send you to snoozeville with all the physiological grammar, so I will make it simple. ATP is the gas that your body makes from two types of pistons or whatever. According to Lance Dalleck, PH. D., director of the Center for Wellness and Human Performance at the Western State of Colorado, If you don’t fully replenish your gas tank, prior to you next exercise session, then your performance will be compromised and fatigue will set in much sooner.”
Reason 4: Rest Helps Clear out the Byproduct of ATP
Ok so your engine (body) makes gas (ATP) to drive. Did you know there is a byproduct to that gas? Lactic acid build up will stop your gas from being produced and impair your muscles from contracting. Think of it as rust in your gears. Your muscles are stiff and achey. Fun itsnt it. No not really. Leg day always puts it to me. By the next day my leg muscles are so stiff and sore I have to lower myself slowly to the toilet to use the bathroom. TMI but hey its true. “An active recovery, when compared to passive recovery, is better at removing the metabolic build up.” say Dalleck.
Reason 5: Over Training Syndrome?
The tipping pint of doing enough exercise and too doing much that can do more harm then good is known as overtraining syndrome which leads to decrease in performance and a higher risk for injury. There are other symptoms to this condition such as easy workouts are feel harder, excessive fatigue, agitation, insomnia, loss of appetite, nagging injuries, and maybe even depression, as stated by the American Council on Exercise. A lot of military trainees go thru this type of ordeal and not even know that they possibly have this condition.
As a result, rest and recovery post exercise is a crucial part to overall exercise training. The Body needs the rest, period. Your body and your muscles will thank you. Your sanity will thank you. And if you are so bent on staying active, just go for a walk or a hike. Breathe the day and enjoy life. You wont die from missing one day at the gym, you will actually benefit from it, I promise you. If you want more in depth on the issue be sure to check out this article. Written my the team at HVMN. They go into detail on what to eat for recover, more on how to recover, and the techniques to use for recovery exercise. Very informative and ideal to take your exercise recovery to the next step.