The Importance of Rest and Recovery

The Importance of Rest and Recovery
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Happy Friday! We hope you got after it this week and kicked off 2023 with a bang. If so, you might be feeling pretty sore right now! That's the feeling of progress, so get used to it. On the other hand, if you're feeling particularly rough, today's topic might make you feel better.

Rest and recovery are absolutely vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Dogs don't hurt either, so you'll see a lot of sleepy pups sprinkled throughout this post. How much rest and recovery you need will depend on a lot of factors including your starting point, training volume, nutrition, and exercise preference.

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As you chase your fitness goals this year, you'll be constantly taxing your body, pushing it to new limits, and building up fatigue over time. This is a well-known training effect, and though your body does get used to it, you'll always require time to recover at some point. Your muscles have been torn apart (literally) and need to rebuild themselves. In order to do so, they may require some rest. You can limit this by moving around which muscles you work on which days and by spreading out your cardio sessions throughout the week. Just because you worked out your upper body today doesn't mean you can't work your lower body tomorrow. As you get more experienced, you'll be able to take on larger workloads before requiring rest.

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This isn't an excuse to completely skip out on your fitness goals for the day just because you're sore or don't feel like it. The main objectives here are to avoid injury and enhance performance through supplemental rest. That doesn't happen by being lazy. Still, there are a lot of benefits to rest, recovery runs, and de-loading weeks. For instance, athletes from marathoners to powerlifters tend to scale back their training weeks before going into a competition. This is often referred to as "tapering". This allows their bodies to shake off some of the built-up training fatigue which enables peak performance when it matters most.

Atena, chocolate labrador.
Photo by Lucrezia Carnelos / Unsplash

So don't be afraid of rest days, because sometimes you need them. Just be careful that you're not making excuses! It's an important balance to strike, and I promise that as long as you maintain consistency you will get better at this overtime. With that, make sure the rest of your 2023 is packed full of activity, rest, and recovery! One more dog won't hurt, right?

Sleepy puppy
Photo by Samuel Foster / Unsplash