Rest is a four-letter word that many athletes and fitness buffs hate to hear. However, rest is an essential part of any training program. Rest benefits the athlete both physiologically and mentally. Though the athlete may feel guilty for taking a day, a week or a month off of their training plan, recovery can help take the athlete's performance to the next level.
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Why is Rest Important?
Many training programs consist of workouts that are repetitive. If you're getting ready for a sporting event or training for a fitness goal, you're most likely doing the same movements over and over again. And you're probably increasing the intensity of the repetitive movement as your training progresses.
Constant repetitive movement can cause a lot of wear and tear on the body. The repetition can cause acute injury like delayed onset muscle soreness (which is healthy).
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However, without proper rest the acute injury can lead to chronic injury, like tendonitis, bursitis or muscle ruptures (tears. Exercise stresses the body and causes a normal loss in fluid, muscular breakdown and disbursement of stored energy (glycogen). The body heals, hydrates, and restores used energy through recovery.
How to Add Rest Into Your Training Plan?
Rest needs to be looked as an important element to your workout routine. Periodizing your training plan is an easy way to build in the rest that you need.
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Periodization is a training program design that sets your plan into seasons and allows you to train accordingly. Within those seasons, specific workouts and rest days are planned.
For example, if you're training to run a few 10Ks, you would have a pre-season that conditions you for the distance. You would workout 4 to 5 days a week. During in season you train for speed and skill 3 to 5 days per week. During post-season your training is an active rest.
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