Many athletes already know that getting rest after exercising is essential. That’s usually easier said than done. It’s hard to skip a day and hangout on the couch when athletes are so used to being on the go. Rest days are critical to sports performance for a variety of reasons. Some are physiological and some are psychological.
Building recovery time into any training program is important because that is the time the body will adapt to the stress of exercise. Recovery will allow the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues. Exercise or any other physical work causes changes in the body such as muscle tissue breakdown and the depletion of energy stores as well as fluid loss.
Without recovery time to repair and replenish, the body will breakdown from intensive exercise. In general, it takes your body almost two weeks of non-activity before you start losing a noticeable amount of your progress or performance level. Don’t think your day off from training will set you back.
Over-training can be the root of your sleeping issues as well. Too much exercise can put your body into a state of restlessness. Taking rest days can help bring down your alertness and heart rate, which can help you get a night of sound sleep. During periods of heavy activity, our immune systems are constantly activated and repairing muscles and joints. Without proper rest your immune system cannot catch up to all the repairs your body needs.
Sleep can be one of the biggest factors to performing at your best. It’s important for athletes to make the most of their nightly sleeping routine. Start by unplugging smart devices. Electronics emit artificial light that tricks your body into thinking it’s daylight and stops the production of melatonin. Keep things dark. Use light-tight blinds, shades and window covering to help set the right environment for sleep. Ambient light can be a distraction.
Lowering the thermostat in your bedroom to between 68 and 65 degrees. It can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. You should experiment with the temperatures to see which climate you sleep best in. You can also experiment with blankets and the amount of blankets you keep on your bed. Keeping things on the cool side is better for sleeping than being too hot.
Try limiting your caffeine intake. It will help improve your quality of sleep and will help you fall asleep faster. For many people drinking highly caffeinated drinks late in the day can impair sleep. It’s also important to maintain a regular sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day is ideal. A regular schedule makes your training routine more consistent. If you sleep and wake up at the same time, your body can adapt to a regular training and nutrition plan as well.
Warren Academy, powered by DREAM, has been helping student-athletes increase their performance, mentally and physically since 2008. With over 10 years of service, Warren Academy has helped guide hundreds of athletes to college. Interested in learning more about Warren Academy’s youth sports training Omaha programs? Contact us today!