When you hear people talk about how to be successful, you might hear them say something along the lines of “to be successful, you have to work hard all the time, sacrifice your sleep, eating, etc”. Or when you hear sayings like “NO DAYS OFF MOTHERF*****!”… you might just get the impression that pros don’t rest at all.
When it comes to athletes, those sayings could be further from the truth. It’s not always as intensive as you might think it to be. In fact during the season, some pro teams with a busy schedule (two or three games a week) have two rest days and only do light training during the other days of the week. These guys need to be fully fresh and ready for each game they play and for your best performance, you need to be too.
Working hard is extremely important and my point here is simply to not underestimate the importance of rest. Rest is extremely important. It allows your muscles to repair themselves, to recover, prevent injury and also give your mind a chance to refresh, avoiding mental burnout.
On your days off, you may want to just lay in bed and watch movies all day. If that’s the best way for you to relax then by all means do it.
However, there are some things you can do to speed up the recovery process.
Try these things the next time you recover:
- Go for a light swim
- Use a sauna
- Do 15-20 minutes of stretching
- 15-20 minutes of cycling at 60% of your max heart rate
These are all great methods for removing lactic acid from the muscles and making sure you feel fresh when you go back for your next session.