Achieving and improving your fitness levels requires more than just establishing your ideal workout load and routine, you also need to incorporate structured rest periods for a variety of reasons. Adequate rest allows your body to respond to increased cortisol levels and stress in a positive way. During recovery, cardiovascular and muscular systems compensate for the stress levels you’ve imposed on them, improving in anticipation of any further stress in the future. Human growth hormone rises during rest periods and expels cortisol from the body. Without rest and recovery, growth and regeneration cannot occur and the effect becomes cumulative when there are symptoms of chronic over training. At this point a long break from workouts becomes necessary to overcome these negative side effects with the duration of required inactivity depending upon how long the prolonged work out period has gone on for.
The more recent availability of documented evidence of the benefits of alternative training techniques, including those associated with various types of Interval Training routines, is for those of us in the fitness industry trying to assist the ‘gym junkie’ to find balance, a welcome awakening. This helps us encourage our clients to move forward with their training goals more intelligently and ideally keeps them from constantly bashing their heads against the brick walls of injury and fatigue. Keep an eye out in my workouts section for some great tips to help you learn to develop smarter rather than harder training routines.