Whatever your sport or event may be, training is an essential part and so is rest. Your workout can be loaded and stressful and your body needs some downtime to temper it. Your body goes into repair and recovery mode when you rest, which results in muscle recovery.
Rest days can be quite confusing for many athletes. However, it is essential for your body. Every athlete, be it amateur or professional, must include rest days as a part of their training schedule. Overtraining may cause moodiness, sore muscles, or exhaustion. Thus, the athlete will become more prone to injuries and illness.
Most of you will not believe the fact that rest days will improve the performance of an athlete. Below are some things athletes can try on their rest days to make it more fruitful.
- Care For Your Body
Your body is completely under your control and you are the one who knows your body well. On your rest days, find out how your body feels in the morning. Find out the needs of your body and the parts that need recovery. It can be anything like good sleep, healthy food, light exercises, or a blend of all of them.
- Sleep Well
When you are giving time for your body to recover, you must provide rest to your body and mind. At night, an average person requires about 7-9 hours of sleep. But athletes may need more. Good sleep can increase your reaction time, speed, and mental sharpness for athletes. Therefore, you can plan to have good sleep on your rest days.
- Stay Hydrated
Athletes have to remain hydrated during and after their workout sessions. This habit must not stop after you come out of your gym or training session. It has to be followed on your rest days as well. Water is an effective lubricant for your joints and muscles. Thus, athletes can prevent soreness and muscle cramps. Along with water, you may also include sports drinks and fruits like cantaloupe, strawberries, and watermelon.
- Eat Well
When you go to the gym, you need carbs to get energy. However, you have to limit them on your rest days. Try to get lean proteins that help in muscle recovery like veggies and fruits. Make your meal more colorful by including maximum fruits and vegetables. They provide minerals and vitamins for your muscles to recover. Orange or red vegetables and fruits have many antioxidants and beta-carotene that decrease inflammation.
- Remain Active
You may try low-impact workouts like Pilates or yoga on your rest days. A simple walk outdoors is also a good light exercise that will help you to remain active on such days. Thus, you do not have rigorous physical activities, yet your body remains active. On rest days, you can have about 30-40 mins of light exercises.
You can improve your flexibility by stretching and your tight muscles will be alleviated. These moves also help you to speed up your recovery process.