Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Importance of Rest

Taking appropriate rest between training sessions isn’t just a compassionate way to treat your body; it’s a mandatory element in building strength and muscle mass.

To follow up on last week’s blog, it’s a great idea to take one or two days of rest every week. This time off from hard exercise allows your body to integrate the effects of your training.

You don’t build muscle while you are working out. You build muscle during the post-workout recovery period. Creating new muscle cells happens in two parts:

  1. You create tiny, healthy tears in your muscle tissues through exercise
    (or stretching)
  2. Your body then naturally builds new cells to fill in the gaps.

This is why it’s essential to rest your bones (and muscles) between training sessions.

If you are an activity junkie, “rest” can consist of low-impact workouts that don’t jack up the heart rate, light loads in the weight room, or activities such as easy jogging, walking, cycling, or restorative yoga.

If you are not so much an activity junkie, consider simply taking two consecutive days off each week. It’s good for the muscle, and it’s good for the soul.

Lark Miller
phone: 415.250.5236

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