Rest – why it is important when working to improve health & body composition
Rest is a key part of any effective training program and very often one of the components that is very underutilized. If your goal is for body composition or improved health, It is important to have an understanding of why this component is essential.
It is common knowledge that having a good diet and doing regular exercise can help to maintain a healthy body and healthy brain, but although they are key for helping to keep us healthy we often underestimate how important it is to also include enough rest.
There are quite a lot of people who are training more and more as they feel pressured to maintain a high amount of exercise, afraid that if they don’t do enough they will gain weight. and the outcome here is that very often they are over doing it.
Yes moving everyday and doing physical activity is beneficial to our health, however, doing far too much without sufficient rest can have a negative effect on the body and lead to health problems.
So what do I mean by rest?
Being able to relax, recharge and get a combination of good quality sleep and time off from training is resting. If we don’t the body cannot recover properly. When we weight train we need to rest the muscle group we have trained for at least a day after, training the same muscle groups back to back over time will damage the muscle and increase the potential of picking up an injury. Having this rest will help cells rebuild, muscles to recover and repair ready for the next session.
Rest in the form of sleep is essential, as having an adequate amount of sleep will also help with any body composition goals.
Getting enough sleep, why?
Of-course you cannot consistently put 100% into your training if you don’t get enough rest, lacking in energy and being flat out will make your body reluctant to let go of body fat, and sleep deprivation will also lead to many other health problems.
Many things can lead to inadequate sleep, if your sleep is interrupted and you regularly wake up and struggle to get back to sleep. Do you do shift work? If so you will have an irregular sleep pattern. All the above including excessively exercising can contribute to adrenal fatigue, all of which will decrease the chances of the body being able to function properly.
Rest is important for not only physical health but also mental health, it is important to have time off, relax and enjoy some time with friends/family. Go ahead and have a meal out at your favourite restaurant, unwinding from time to time will give your body the mental break it needs, and will also help you to hit training again performing better in your next session. Balancing rest and training and work life should be a part of your lifestyle, so don’t put too much pressure into training so much if your not also giving yourself time to rest and recover.
Try to go to bed at a decent regular time each night, and wake up ready to take on the day , you will also be giving your body a chance to function better.
Including a combination of a healthy diet, exercise and scheduled rest and recovery time will help you to live a happier and healthier life.