Exercise puts enormous pressure on the body. When you train, your muscle fibers tear continuously, so your body must repair them in order to make you stronger. To achieve that, your system needs time to recover. Since exercise programs vary in duration and intensity, some athletes require more time to recover than others. The person who exercises at an average level, is enough between one and three days of rest a week and no more than that. However, athletes who do weightlifting or long-term endurance races must include weeks of recovery in their training schedule.
The body can not get stronger or increase your resistance while you are exercising. It is the post-training period when your system is capable of producing all these important changes. It is vital to give yourself some time to repair yourself or your physical condition will not improve. In fact, it will stabilize at one point or it will probably be reduced if you continue to push yourself without resting. Proper recovery means resting the day after a hard workout or exercising very lightly. It also involves taking healthy foods and sleeping at least seven hours at a time in the evening. Plan your days and weeks of recovery in your training program and never skip them or leave them for later.
A week of recovery gives the body more time to heal and adapt to physical stimulation. The planning of this rest period will give you time to achieve this and it will also help you to return to your training stronger and more agile as to dare to challenge your body once again. Many endurance athletes end their season with a week off and many weightlifters have one week off their programs every four or eight weeks. It is also common for runners and cyclists to have a week or more of recovery after a marathon or competition to ensure they can recover. This time helps them in their transition to the next set of trainings and allows them to keep their minds fresh and focused on their disciplines.
When should I do it?
If you are following a strong workout, whether lifting weights, doing cardiovascular exercise or handling a combination of both; program at least one day of recovery in your week. If you are a beginner, take two or three days. Then then, either once a season or once every two or three months, take a full week of rest. According to Dr. M. Doug McGuff, a week of rest will not have negative repercussions on your physical condition and if instead, it will bring many benefits for growth and muscle adaptation.Consult your doctor or coach if you are not sure when to schedule the recovery.
When athletes do not allow themselves adequate recovery time, they are at risk for overtraining syndrome. Symptoms of overtraining include chronic fatigue, bad mood or depression, a high resting heart rate, sleep disturbances and decreased athletic performance. In this state, the body is also more vulnerable to infections and injuries. The symptoms can be serious, so it is important to consult your doctor during the first signs of overload, to extend the recovery time.