Rest and recovery period is often touted as unnecessary among athletes. They believe that taking a break in between intense workout and training sessions can hamper their progress and lose the hard-earned fitness level. However, recovery is one of the most underrated yet essential facets of every athlete’s training journey. While athletes train hard to achieve their fitness goals, they also need sufficient rest to stay ahead.
Are you wondering whether recovery is essential for athletes and how it can benefit them? Dive right in to know more about the importance of adequate rest and recovery for fitness enthusiasts and athletes.
Rest is the single most crucial part of any training and exercise program. As much as it is necessary, taking time off for recovery is also hard for an athlete. If you’re wondering why experts consider the recovery period to be highly important for athletes, here are a few compelling reasons to prove that:
1. Help you get fitter:
While it might sound counterintuitive to you, sports and fitness gains usually happen when you are resting. It happens because you must expose yourself to stress to get better at a sport or even to enhance the overall fitness level. Different pressures can include exercise programs such as endurance runs, sprinting, and weightlifting. Once you complete the stress, your body needs to adapt to the stress it underwent, and here recovery stage becomes imperative.
When you take time for recovery and get sufficient sleep at night, your growth becomes better, and you can get fitter. The pituitary gland releases the growth hormone when you enter the deep sleep stage, stimulating tissue growth.
Rigorous training can cause micro-damage to your body tissues. If you don’t get sufficient rest and recovery in between the training sessions, your body starts to break down. When you include recovery days in between the workout schedule, you significantly reduce the chance of overuse injuries like stress fractures or tendonitis. According to research conducted on 446 endurance athletes, the ones who had less than 2 recovery days in a week had a 5.2 fold risk of suffering from an overuse injury.
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When you skip the recovery period to train continuously, there are chances that you can succumb to over-training fatigue and might also get injured. It can hamper your training schedule and break the consistency. Understanding and respecting the importance of the recovery period will help you train more consistently. Maintaining consistency in the training plans is important to improve your performance and reach goals faster. You must keep in mind that it is not one recovery session but months and years of consistent work that can define your fitness levels.
Indulging in an intensive workout not only affects your physical health but can also lead to mental fatigue. It can have a huge impact on your performance and lead to:
· Reduced cognitive performance
· Decreased endurance performance
· Increased risk of overreaching
· Increased rate of exertion
When you try to incorporate a rest day or an easy day in your workout schedule, it will enable you to recharge yourself both physically and mentally. You will be able to avoid psychological burnout by engaging in other interests apart from training during the recovery period to maintain physical and mental wellbeing.
Even the most elite and seasoned athletes say that it is nearly impossible to stay in great shape throughout the year. When it comes to giving your peak performance, you need to periodize your training. To achieve that, you can break the year or even months into smaller time blocks and keep a different focus for every block. Recovery holds importance in the case of periodization since each block must conclude with a rest period. It will give you time to absorb the training and also maximize the gains from workouts.
There is an important saying among pro athletes that you can only train as hard as you recover. By taking adequate time for recovery during intense training sessions, you will be able to absorb more during the training course and reduce the chances of overtraining and injuries. It will push you to train harder, give better performance, and reach your desired fitness goals much quicker.
Excelling in physical fitness and sports takes the right balance of training and recovery periods. Much like your training, recovery also requires discipline, and you must stick to it. Whether you are a new fitness enthusiast or a seasoned athlete, you must realize the importance of rest days to achieve higher fitness levels. The harder you wish to train in terms of effort and intensity, the greater is your need for recovery to achieve the results.