It is a well-known fact that most people need about 7-9 hours of sleep every night to recuperate from stress of daily activities. And it is a similar situation in sports – people participating must always remember to get adequate amount of rest between training sessions.
There are those of us that couldn’t handle more than a couple of days of exercising or running a week. Then there are those few that have the innate need to be active and train 5-7 days a week. The overwhelming majority of people falls into the middle category that requires an equal amount of exercising and resting, i.e. 3-4 days to train and 3 or 4 days to rest. Let’s say, for example, you train Monday, Wednesday and Friday which would leave you with Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday to rest. Comes next Monday, it is a guarantee you’ll feel fresh as a cucumber.
Not getting enough rest and training more than we should, puts us in danger of:
1. INJURIES. As we mentioned in this article, the very first thing that happens is loss of coordination. And with that comes all sorts of trouble. Loss of coordination affects our training as well as the normal daily activities more than we initially might think. Imagine walking down the street and tripping or bumping into people like you normally wouldn’t do. Or walking around your apartment or a house that you know like your five fingers, but somehow now you’re running into things.
When we are tired beyond our limit, we are unable to focus, and our bodies do not function right. Combined with the daily stresses of modern life, tiredness accumulated from training becomes that dangerous mix that can push us over the edge. It takes much more effort and more time to return from that edge, so it is best to not even approach it. What would you rather have a day of rest or days of trying to recover?
2. LONGER RECOVERY. The more tired you’re the longer it takes to recover. If during your training week you do not allow yourself enough time to recuperate, then with each following training session you will be slowly but surely going “downhill”, i.e. weaker performance results, inability to focus during training, less desire to train, etc. You will do best and recover faster, if you don’t run your gas tank completely empty, so to say. Like a car that has to be refueled, a human body has to go through its own cycle of recovering, getting enough sleep and enough rest days is part of it.
3. LOSS OF INTEREST IN TRAINING. Imagine eating an enormous amount of your favorite food all in one day. Most likely you will feel sick to your stomach next time that food is even mentioned. The same goes for overdoing training. Rather quickly you will feel less and less tempted to participate and it will feel like something you’re being forced to do rather than something you’re looking forward to.
Getting enough rest in between training is especially important for teenagers participating in sports. They often need even more sleep and rest time than adults.
We suggest for you to try the 3-4 training days per week approach and see how that suits you. As mentioned above – that works for most people. If you feel that you could do more, try to increase the training load or add one more training session per week. Always keep in mind that you would do better by training less than training more.
Article by Dr. Nicholas Romanov
Composed by L. Romanov