Recovery days will increase your energy output every day, boost your immune response and help you maximize your training days. By giving your body an opportunity to rest, you will:
- Improve hormone levels
- Improve tissue health
- Decrease inflammation
- Lower chances of overuse injuries
Do you find yourself training every day for your goals and never quite reaching them? My dad used to say, 'winners never quit' but he never finished that sentence. It should have continued on to say, 'but they do take a day off'. Rest days are a necessary element to your training recipe and will boost your game exponentially! Start to incorporate the three S's (Self Massage, Sleep, and Stretch) into your game plan!
I'm guilty of this one, but I'm working on it. We all know that sleep is important but who really listens (especially in a city like New York). Sleep is actually a detoxifier for your brain; check out this study! In addition to helping the body heal itself and clean out toxins, getting enough sleep will lead to a decrease in body fat. If you have a night that doesn't result in enough sleep, try some yoga nidra.
I always tell my students that your muscles can only be as strong as they are supple. It's simple science, in order for a muscle to contract, it has to be able to lengthen. Set aside at least 15min after a training session to stretch. Each stretch should take the joint through a full range of motion. See below for a few examples and try to linger in each for at least 3 minutes. Stretching will also send fresh blood to the muscles, hydrate the fascia and help remove toxins—just like self massage and sleep!