Rest To Be Your Best
Rest To Be Your Best
Every week we see patients with overuse injuries from overtraining or overworking in their sport or training or their job. Like our Mum’s always used to warn us, too much of a good thing can be bad for us. Stop looking at me chocolate…
If we are putting demands on our bodies that are high and require tissue recovery, but not giving our bodies the crucial elements of recovery (sleep, food, water, oxygen, time), that they need before repeating that same task, we are overloading it and on our way to an overuse injury.
Different structures (bone, tendon, muscle, energy systems), require different things and different time frames to recover adequately. Training stresses the body, often causing micro-damage to various tissues, and the repair process makes the area stronger as a result. Slowly upping this over time (progressive overload), combined with a balanced recovery, makes us stronger, faster, fitter and more resilient.
When we rest, our bodies are able to focus energy on repairing damaged tissues, reducing inflammation, and restoring balance to the various systems within the body. This process is essential for healing injuries, but it can also help prevent future injuries by allowing the body to build up its strength and resilience.
I say to patients all the time, the biggest predictor of someone’s chances of success with a health goal are consistency, and tied to this is avoiding injury. So while it may seem counterintuitive to some, rest is crucial to adaptation and getting stronger, running further, or overcoming that annoying injury.
We see overuse injuries in the clinic daily, and they are generally the result of doing too much of the same type of training, with inadequate rest. By not allowing adequate rest, or the healing process enough time, and the micro-damage accumulates until the specific tissue reaches a critical damage point and we get an acute injury that has been driven by overload. Here is where cross training comes in. Mixing up how you train, the areas of your body you challenge, and the intensities you push your body to, can allow you to still train as regularly as you want without overwhelming that pesky ITB, or tennis elbow, or plantar fasciitis etc.
The next thing to consider is rest days. Some of us have too few. I would say the key here is to not make it up on the run. Think ahead and plan out what you’re wanting to challenge, and plan in rest. Rest can be total rest i.e. an entire day off, or it can be relative rest where you cross train as described above. If you don’t feel like you can do this alone, discuss it with one of us, or we have some phenomenal Personal Trainer’s who are great at programming and helping you structure your training.
Whether you’re recovering from an injury, dealing with a niggle, or maybe you aren’t seeing the training results you expected, inadequate rest might be the answer. So, be sure to listen to your body and give it the rest it needs to thrive. Analyse, with our help if needed, where you might be overdoing it, and take some time to slow down, relax, and adjust things to help maximise your performance, improve your mental health, and minimise your risk of injury.
As always, if you have any questions, contact us at the clinic to discuss further.