When we practice sports continuously, we are producing in our body a series of adaptations produced by physical activity itself that will be what make us progress and improve. But training is just as important as raising awareness of the vital importance of rest as an equal or more important part of sports.
When our body performs a physical activity it is undergoing a load and stress produced by this activity (Action), while when it is in the rest period is when the adaptations (Reaction) occur at the physiological level , metabolic and muscular, where all the muscular tissues involved in the activity will be repaired.
Rest as part of training
Numerous studies on rest show that only 30% of the Spanish population admit to sleeping the recommended hours, about 7-9 hours and, what is worse, approximately more than 50% of the The general population has difficulty falling asleep, 32% prefer to have a non-restorative sleep and up to 35% of the population end the day with signs of fatigue and drowsiness.
Therefore, it is undoubtedly important to consider rest as an integral part of training, and that is why we refer to an “active rest”, to consciously underline the intention that it entails, that is, to pay our attention, our energy, in optimal recovery.
Rest is also very important to be able to clear ourselves from our usual sports activity and to be able to disconnect at a psychological level from the sport, thus being able to do activities of all kinds other than the sport itself where you can enjoy other hobbies.
The Spanish Sleep Society (SES) insists on the need for rest by making these recommendations:
- Incorporate sleep as a “healthy lifestyle” by sleeping the necessary hours according to age (7-9 hours in adults).
- Strictly respect the Sleep Hygiene Rules to be able to sleep well.
- Consult with the specialist if the sleep is not perceived as restorative.
- Maintain a balanced diet and do regular exercise to promote sleep and also our health.
- Control the environmental conditions for sleep (temperature 18-21º, silence, darkness, adequate mattress).
- Maintain regular sleep-wake schedules.
- Avoid self-medication to get more sleep.
From Personal Running we observe in sport at all levels (from high performance to amateur) that rest is very important since first of all you have to know how to combine both aspects (training + rest / leisure) and thus be able to have an effective sports practice and enjoying what you do.
Remember that adequate restful sleep:
- Decreases the secretion of cortisol, a stress hormone.
- Improves our mood and state of mind.
- Regulates metabolic functions, such as carbohydrate processing and storage.
- Promotes a correct metabolization of sugar, regulating the levels of leptin and ghrelin, responsible for the feeling of hunger.
- Studies link restful sleep with a lower rate of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and risk of heart attacks.
- It is essential for the consolidation of new learning and cognitive memory processes.