Rest and recovery: The most important part of your training plan

Too much exercise, and not enough rest can be just as detrimental as not enough exercise, writes Tanja Shaw.

For your body and mind to be at its optimal state

For your body and mind to be at its optimal state

While the majority of people struggle to get enough exercise in their day, there are some people who veer toward exercising too much.  If you’re an athlete, training for an event, or exercise daily simply love the way it makes you feel, make sure you are giving your body adequate time to heal.

For your body and mind to be at its optimal state, it needs adequate rest periods to repair and re-energize.   Your body does not get stronger, fitter and faster from working out; it gets stronger and faster from recovering from your workouts.   Workouts are the stimulus for change, while the physical response (getting fitter) happens during recovery.  The adage “more exercise is better” is only true to a certain point.  Too much exercise, and not enough rest can be just as detrimental as not enough exercise.  Symptoms of not getting enough rest include plateau, depression, increased resting heart rate, staleness, increased risk of injury, decreased immune function and general feelings of fatigue.

How much rest do you need?  Good question, and like many good questions, there’s not a good, clear-cut answer.  The amount of rest you need depends on what else is going on in your life (work, stress, other physical activities), your fitness level and how hard you workout.

Here are some guidelines to make sure you’re getting enough rest:

• Take a rest day every 3-5 days if you workout daily.  You can still be active on your rest day, but do something that helps you recover such as gentle yoga, or a walk.

• Schedule recovery weeks into your training plan.  Aim to progress your workouts for 3 weeks and then plan a week of lighter workouts to give your body time to recover.

• Change up your workouts regularly.  Run one day, boot camp the next day, do upper body strength on the third day, and so on.  If you always change up your workouts, versus running everyday, your body will naturally get a chance to recovery.  If you are training for a specific event or sport, such as running, use cross training to vary your workouts and give your body rest.

• Make sure that not all workouts are intense.  If you go really hard on one or two days in a row, schedule a lighter workout on the third day (maybe an easy run, or bike ride).

• Fuel your body well.  High quality nutrition will help your body recover.

• Listen to your body.  If you really, truly feel like you need a rest, you probably do.  Sometimes it can be difficult to determine if you’re simply feeling unmotivated, or if your body needs a rest.  If you’re unsure, you can get dressed and start your workout.  Go for 10 minutes.  How do you feel now?  Do you feel energized? Or, do you feel more exhausted than when you started?  If you still feel like you need a rest, take a rest day.

While working out is important; the rest between workouts is when the body gets stronger.  Vary your workouts and intensity level, and schedule recovery time into your workouts regimen to get the most out of your hard work!

Ensure that you have at least one or two rest and recovery days in your week.  Remember that they can be active recovery such as stretching, yoga or walking.

 

Tanja Shaw is a healthy-eating enthusiast, Rotarian, passionate entrepreneur, mom, runner, and owner of Ascend Fitness Inc. Tanja and her team of expert fitness coaches inspire and educate Chilliwack residents to make positive and power changes in their lives through physical fitness and sound nutrition.  Visit Tanja  at www.ascendfitnesscoaching.com and www.tanjashaw.com.

Just Posted

These three kittens, seen here on Thursday, June 10, 2021, are just some of many up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Three kittens at the Chilliwack SPCA

Kittens were in ‘rough shape’ when they came into the Chilliwack SPCA, now ready for adoption

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Chilliwack family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A new sign was installed at St. Thomas Anglican Church on Saturday, June 5, 2021 in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Community effort to install new sign at Chilliwack’s oldest church

‘We feel it’s a step in the right direction to bring the church up-to-date,’ says St. Thomas parishioner

Dennis Saulnier rescued his daughters, two-year-old Brinley (left) and four-year-old Keegan, after their truck was driven off the road and into Cultus Lake on May 16, 2020. Reporter Jenna Hauck has been recognized by the B.C. and Yukon Community Newspapers Association for her story on the rescue. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Chilliwack Progress, Hope Standard staff take home 7 Ma Murray awards

Jenna Hauck, Eric Welsh, Jessica Peters, Emelie Peacock all earn journalism industry recognition

A student prepares to throw a plate full of whipped cream at principal Jim Egdcombe’s face as vice principal Devin Atkins watches as part of a fundraiser at Leary Integrated Arts and Technology elementary on Friday, June 11, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
The pied principals: Chilliwack elementary staff get messy for charity

Cops for Cancer fundraiser saw kids ‘pie the principal’ at Leary elementary in Chilliwack

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read