A couple of weeks ago we discussed how stress management plans are highly effective in the reduction of the emotional and psychological influences that stress has on us. Similarly, we must also consider physical stress and how the often understated term ‘Recovery’ is hugely important in our overall health.
Much of the current ‘in vogue’ focus around exercise and physical activity relates to how much, how many, how quickly and how often. Niche industries within the health and fitness market have almost turned exercise into a ‘race against yourself’ and so it becomes difficult to stop and smell the roses so to speak.
What do I mean by this? Well much like psychological stress, the body has limits to what it can do without the appropriate levels of rest and recovery and like any machine it must be serviced and maintained to enhance its longevity. This ultimately means that ensuring restful sleep patterns and programming for rest days or weeks is not optional but is a must in reducing the likelihood of serious injury and enhancing the effectiveness of the exercise routine you are undertaking.
Rest days week to week may vary but every couple of months it is important to enjoy a week off from your normal routine. Another significant benefit of scheduling rest days or weeks from your exercise regime is that plateaus that you may have been stuck at will be minimalised and you will return to your exercise with renewed vigour and enjoyment.