When it comes to training in a martial art (or any other physical activity), it’s easy to get caught up in the cycle of long workouts and minimal sleep. Especially those who are highly devoted to their cause, whether it’s martial arts, CrossFit, or a marathon, can misjudge the amount of time they need to spend off the mat, out of the gym, or with their running shoes kicked off.
Rest, though, is arguably one of the most important parts of physical training. Without it, muscles break down, fatigue sets in, and mental capacities become blocked. Take a look at some of the main benefits of balancing your training with adequate rest:
Helps Build Muscle
If you’re overtraining, you’re not giving your muscles time to rest and recover. Adequate rest and, especially, sleep are vital to muscle growth as it allows torn muscle fibers to recover and grow.
The muscles that are most likely to become injured are the ones that you’ve been overtraining. Rest allows for muscles to properly recover and prevents injury in the future.
Allows Willpower to Recover
Willpower acts as a muscle in and of itself, and when you overwork your willpower by forcing yourself to go to the gym every day (especially when you don’t want to), you’re likely to become staggeringly less motivated. A day of rest allows you to focus on other things and recover some of that mental strength.
For those who have overtrained before, you’re familiar with a specific sense of not being as strong or as capable on days that your body has become exhausted. This reduction in performance builds exponentially, and can only be deflated with a day off.
It’s easy to get mentally and physically tied to your training plan, and tough to take rest days into account. Once you start that rest routine, however, you’ll notice a major improvement in performance, as well as less injury and soreness.
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