Most simply we break down to build up.
When we work out essentially what we are doing is breaking down our muscle fibers, and in response they grow stronger so the next time they are faced with similar strain they can handle it.
Its these processes of breaking down that allow us to build up stronger.
Here's the part we often forget...
In order to build stronger we can’t continuously be breaking down, over and over again.
After a workout out, lifting heavy, running long distance, sprinting, boot camp..whatever it is we have to allow those muscles to repair and rebuild themselves. We have to give them proper building blocks as well as time to do this.
What does that look like? This means REST. Rest days away from workouts and lots of sleep. Sleep is when our body does the largest portion of its rebuilding.
When we don’t give ourselves proper fuel or rest we won’t come out stronger. Our body will constantly break itself down.
If you don't eat enough, or get the right nutrients, your body literally takes what it needs from your muscles.
The body always chooses survival over vanity.
When you don’t rest or sleep and your body cannot rebuild. You are constantly catabolizing (fancy word for breaking down).
Rest. Sometimes we don't even know where to start. Here are 5 tips to optimizing your rest to become stronger, faster, healthier and attain your goals.
1. Sleep 7-8 hours per night
Everyone will vary as to exactly how much sleep is best, but 7-8 hours is a good average to shoot for. All healing is done when we sleep. From physical to emotional. The more you exercise, the more stress you are going through, the more sleep you will need.
2. Go to bed before midnight as often as possible
As the old English proverb says: "One hours sleep before midnight's worth two hours after." If you are super busy going to bed early and getting up early is far better than working into the wee hours so you can get up late the next day.
3. Take at least 2 rest days
This doesn't mean you have to lay in bed all day, it just means take a rest from your exercise routine. Instead take a nice walk, and do some stretching. You can keep your body moving while still allowing it to rest. The hardest thing about this is often we are faced with feelings of 'guilt' for not working out, which could be something to explore in yourself.
4. Remember that the days where you rest are actually even more important than the days that you exercise
Remind yourself of this often. Every time you think you are being lazy or you feel it is necessary to go out and hit it hard even though your body says slow down. It's when you are resting that your muscles are actually growing and gaining new strength.
5. Sit for 5 minutes and visualize yourself stronger
Visualization is a powerful tool that elite athletes take full advantage of. There are numerous studies that show simply visualizing doing something triggers the same brain patterns that actually doing it would. It is a key component to achieving your goals. You have to believe to achieve it! If you haven't read about this amazing concept you can take a quick read over at Psychology Today.
Never underestimate the power of rest. Rest is just as important as the work.
With [icon icon=icon-heart size=14px color=#800080 ]
PS. Had you ever though about how important rest was? Leave a comment below and let me know if you have ever struggled with the concept of rest like I have.