By Lauren Denos: 8/26/2014 (Fitness)

Do you get burnt out too often. It is because your body needs repair time.

Your body needs time to rest and repair. If you do not take at least one day of rest per week your body can become burned out and exhausted from over use.

Take at least one day a week for complete rest. This will prevent over use, injury, mental burn out and helps to restore glycogen stores. If you are new to exercise or the sport/adventure you are taking up you may want to have more than one off day. You can take more; one is just the minimum.

If you start to show signs of fatigue you can’t seem to recover from, muscle soreness that is not going away or decrease in your performance you probably need to take more rest days. Remember that this is a journey; be nice to your body. You will always want to see how much more you can do, but you do not need to go to the point of hurting yourself.

Plan your rest day. Yes, there is desire to workout everyday because you think that will yield better results, but your progress will decline if you have no time for rest. If you are one of these people that simply cannot sit still, then you can do something that is much more mellow than usual. So if you normally do intense running, and weight training then you could go on a walk or a casual bike ride. Just make sure you are giving your body time to rejuvenate and recuperate.

When is it too much and what are some of the consequences?Signs that you are over training:

  • Unquenchable thirst that coincides with increased workouts
  • Soreness that does not subside
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Injury
  • Insomnia
  • Over tired
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Immune system not up to speed (getting sick too often)
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Stall in progress

Just because one of these shows up does not mean it is your training, but they are common signs of over training.

Supercharge Your Rest

Are you doing the same one or two things all the time? Switching it up can help quite a bit with this issue. If you are only running and weight training, add in some swimming, bike riding, yoga etc. When you cross train you are not using the exact same muscles in the exact same way every day or even every other day. This will do a lot for specific over trained muscles.

If you are just over training in general then you can do some other methods to help recover faster and get back to your workouts.

#1 Cold Therapy like ice baths are one of the tools that athletes use to keep themselves in good condition. Ice baths help cool down the muscles and inflammation that occurs when we push our bodies. They are also thought to help flush toxins out of the system. However, just because it is called an ice bath does not mean it needs to be actual ice or a bath, you can do a shower. The level of cold depends on what you can tolerate. Aim for just cool at first; it does not need to be cold. You can go for 8 minutes or less and see if it works for you. If you are having specific areas of pain you can always use an ice pack on that area. Keep in mind that when you see a pro athlete sitting in an ice bath they are pro's pushing themselves for many hours a day and they are usually working with a professional athletic trainer or therapist. So start with what you can comfortably handle and do that for a week or so and see if it makes a difference for you.

#2 Massage Therapy is another great and relaxing way to help recover faster. One of the ways massage helps is by reducing the soreness felt the next day or a couple day later. A study found that this worked best when the massage was received a few hours after the intense workout verses right after the workout.

Research is now showing that massage reduces the production of cytokines. Cytokines are part of the inflammation process. It also indicates that massage stimulates the mitochondria that help convert glucose into energy which means that the massage could help stimulate the energy the body needs for repair work.

You can even do some self-massage. You can use a foam roller, tennis balls or the even have tools that help you massage your own legs and arms. Obviously getting a massage by a professional is best, but when you can't get to one at least you can do some on yourself.

#3 Electrical Stimulation is used most often to help rebuild muscle strength after injuries that have kept areas immobile. As implied by the name, this therapy gives off electrical pulses to help stimulate muscle contractions, aid pain relief and to get blood flowing to muscles and therefore help to repair muscles that have been over worked.

#4 Stretching is something we all know we need to do. It helps keep us limber, keeps our muscles long and supple and helps the aches and pains we can get after a workout. There are different stretches that are done before and after your workout. After your workout is when you would want to do static stretches. After you workout the body is fully warm and the flexibility is at its peak. With static stretches you want to hold the position without movement. This allows the muscle to slowly go into the deeper stretch. This is where we get the best gains in our flexibility. If you are doing a static stretch before a workout you should hold them for around 10 seconds (it is better if you do dynamic stretching before a workout). If you are doing a static stretch after a workout your muscles will be nice and warm, you can then hold the stretch for up to 60 seconds.



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-Lauren