The importance of rest

Sunday Signal

Regular exercise has been linked to a host of health benefits. People who exercise regularly can lower their risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Routine exercise can improve mood and potentially delay the onset of cognitive decline.

As vital as physical activity is to a healthy lifestyle, there is such a thing as too much exercise. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, rest is an important part of training. Without ample rest, the body does not have time to recover before the next workout.

Committed athletes may have a hard time recognizing when they are pushing themselves too hard, and the line between perseverance and overdoing it can be thin. But it’s vital that athletes learn to recognize the signs that suggest they’re exercising too much. The USNLM notes that the following are some signs of overdoing it with an exercise routine.

An inability to perform at your established level

Requiring longer periods of rest between workout sessions

Feeling tired or depressed

Difficulty sleeping

Feeling sore muscles or heavy limbs

Suffering overuse injuries such as runner’s knee, achilles tendinitis, shin splints and plantar fasciitis

The USNLM urges anyone experiencing these symptoms to rest completely for between one and two weeks. After that period of rest, the body should be fully recovered. However, if any of these issues linger after two weeks, seek the advice of a health care provider.

Rest is as vital to an effective exercise regimen as proper technique, ensuring the body has ample time to recover and reducing the risk of overuse injuries. (MC) 

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