It’s time again for some Wellness Wednesday action! YAY! It’s the middle of the week! WOOHOO! Anyway, in keeping up with the marathon theme, today’s Wellness Wednesday is all about the importance of rest and recovery. If you’re training for a race, long runs are important. If you’re training for a powerlifting competition, your lifting schedule is important. It only makes sense, weight? We have to train. As it turns out, rest and recovery is just as important as the hard work you’re putting in.
There are two kinds of rest and recovery: total rest and active rest. For today, I’m going to focus on total rest. You can head on over here to learn more about active recovery.
What is total rest?
The answer should be fairly obvious. Total rest means instead of being active (whether that’s yoga, going for a walk, etc), you’re chillin’ on the couch and not doing much at all. Now, obviously, sitting on the couch all day is probably not an option for you. I mean, you have to go to work! And you have a never-ending to-do list! So really, total rest (to me!) just means you aren’t working out.
Benefits of Total Rest:
Like active recovery, total rest has its own fair share of benefits.
- Repair muscles: Total rest, including sleep, allows for your body to chill out and work on repairing itself. When you’re working out every day, you’re breaking down your muscles and causing microscopic tears. Rest days are important because they allow your muscles, nerves, bones, and connective tissue time to rebuild.
- Avoid burnout: Working out and working hard every day not only causes physical strain but mental strain as well. It’s why days off from work (weekends or otherwise!) are such a welcome treat. So, your brain needs a day off from working out too!
- Sleep: Sleep is a type of total rest (duh) and it’s something we do every day. When you’re sleeping (specifically REM-sleep), your body produces more growth hormone, which helps in repairing and rebuilding your muscles. Cool, right?
The body, and all of its processes, is wild. It is crazy how much the body can do when you treat it well. Treat your body right with active recovery and rest and you’ll see some major improvements in your physical activity. Check back next week for some more helpful tips specifically catered to running. If you’re looking for more Wellness Wednesdays, you can check here for carb-loading, here for active recovery, and here for electrolytes!
Questions for you!
What are your favorite ways to rest?
I prefer a 60-minute deep tissue massage followed by a Netflix binge 🙂