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Monday, September 24, 2007

Rest Up for Success


photo by rachel r

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Six Pack Abs...while you sleep!

Well, not exactly, but don't underestimate the importance of rest and recovery when training. Time spent in the gym or during exercise causes small muscle tears that your body must repair in order to improve. You don't improve in the gym or on the track, you improve while resting between bouts of exercise.

Another aspect of recovery that is often ignored is central nervous system recovery. You simply cannot continue to have hard workouts without some down time because your nervous system needs to recoup from the mental stress of a hard workout as much as your body needs rest from the physical stress of a hard workout. Your hard workouts will lose their intensity and you won't benefit as much as you should. Without adequate rest your body will continue to breakdown with no chance for recuperation.

Sleep is also very important for proper recovery. Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night. I understand that we all lead busy lives, but less than that will lessen the positive impact of exercise.

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