When we practice sports continuously, we are producing a series of adaptations in our body produced by our own physical activity that will make us progress and improve. But training is as necessary as rest, as an equal or more important part than sports.
When our body performs physical activity, it is suffering a load and stress caused by this activity (Action), when it is in resting it is when the adaptations (Reaction) occur at the physiological, metabolic and muscular level, where all muscle tissues involved in physical activity will be repaired.
Rest as part of the training
Numerous studies around rest show that only 30% of the people admit to sleeping the recommended hours, about 7-9 hours and, what is worse, approximately more than 50% of the general population presents difficulties in falling asleep, 32% report having a non-restorative sleep and up to 35% of the population ends the day with signs of fatigue and drowsiness.
Therefore, it is undoubtedly important to consider rest as an integral part of training, and that is why we refer to “active rest,” to consciously underline the intention that entails, putting our attention, and our energy on optimal recovery.
It is also essential to rest to be able to clear ourselves of our usual sporting activity and to disconnect at a psychological level from the sport so that we can do activities of all kinds other than the sport itself and enjoy other hobbies.
– Incorporate sleep as a “healthy lifestyle” sleeping the necessary hours according to age (7-9 hours in adults).
– Consult with the specialist if sleep is not perceived as reparative.
– Maintain a balanced diet and perform regular exercise to promote sleep and overall health.
– Control the appropriate environmental conditions for rest (temperature 18-21º, silence, darkness, adequate mattress).
– Maintain regular sleep-wake schedules.
– Avoid self-medication to sleep more.
In sport at all levels (from high performance to amateur) rest is very important since you have to know how to combine both aspects (training + rest/leisure) and thus have an effective sports practice and enjoying what you do.
It should be remembered that adequate restful sleep:
– Segregation of cortisol, stress hormone decreases.
– It improves our mood.
– Regulates metabolic functions, such as carbohydrate processing and storage.
– Promotes a correct metabolization of sugar, controlling the levels of leptin and ghrelin, responsible for the sensation of hunger.
– Studies relate a restful sleep with a lower rate of cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, and risk of heart attacks.
– It is essential for the consolidation of new learning and cognitive memory processes.
Also, people who have not enjoyed a restful sleep at night, or who suffer from some type of insomnia have memory and concentration problems.
Keep that in mind!