Workout, Rest, Repeat

Athletes know that getting enough rest after exercise is essential to high level performance. Although you may feel guilty when you take a day off from exercising, it is important to help the body with repairs. A rest day will also help strengthen your body in the time between workouts. Continuous training can actually weaken even the strongest athletes.

Rest days are critical to sports performance for many reasons. Rest is physically necessary so that the muscles can repair, rebuild and strengthen. For recreational athletes, building in rest days will help maintain a better balance between home, work and fitness goals.

Building recovery time into any training program is important because this is the time that the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real training effects takes place. Recovery allows the body to replenish energy store and repair damaged tissues. Exercise and physical work causes changes in the body. Muscle tissue will breakdown and the depletion of energy stores as well as fluid loss will occur. Recovery time, or a rest day will allow the stores to be replenished and allows tissue repair to occur. Without sufficient time to repair and replenish, the body will continue to breakdown from intensive exercise. The result, is overtraining and symptoms such as, feeling a general malaise, staleness, depression, decreased sports performance and an increased risk of injury.

Short-Term Recovery
Also called active recovery, short-term recovery occurs in the hours immediately after intense exercise. Active recovery refers to engaging in low-intensity exercise after workouts during the cool-down phase immediately after a hard effort or workout as well as during the days following the workout. These types of recovery are helpful with performance. Getting quality sleep is also an important part of short-term recovery, especially if you are doing a hard training regime.

Long-Term Recovery
Long-term recovery refers to those that are built into a seasonal training program such as professional athletes will have for during the season vs. off season workouts. Recovery time will be days and even weeks, depending on the demand that their body faces.

It is important to adapt your recovery time to your workout. The higher level of training intensity, the greater the need for planned recovery time. With monitoring your workouts in a training log and paying attention to your body and how it feels, you’ll be able to plan in your rest days. Talk to your trainer- get them to help you plan out the best workout – rest routine that suits you and your body’s needs. Remember how important it is to let your body rest and recover – rest for success.

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A Balancing Act – Motherhood and Pro Sports

Unless you are born with miraculous genes, childbirth will inevitably result in vast changes to your body; even top notch athletes and fitness gurus face challenges post baby delivery. A misconception is that athletic people manage to bounce back to their pre-pregnancy weight with little to no effort. The fact is however, that most women will have to put in considerable time and effort to whip their bodies back into shape. Balancing motherhood and pro sport is still challenging, but many athletes know some tricks of the trade that help them get there faster.

Athletes simply have a competitive and healthy mindset that all pregnant women could benefit from. First and foremost, their bodies are trained and conditioned prior to conceiving a child, whereas non-athletic mothers’ bodies may not be. That already gives a woman a leg up since they are starting with a low body mass index.

Athletes also take care in their diet and eating habits, so the likelihood that they will continue to eat well during pregnancy is high. Women who get pregnant often take the phrase ‘eating for two’ too literally. In actuality, a fetus gets its nutrients from the foods the mother eats and therefore there is no need to eat twice as much as you normally would, though many pregnant women do. To their disappointment and the demise of their waistlines, this results in double the amount of daily caloric intake and the expansion of their waistlines.

Pro sport moms or soon to be moms are highly tuned into their bodies and know when enough is enough. Since they constantly train and condition, they are more apt to know when their limits are being tested; on the other hand, they also have a keen and innate awareness of how far they can push their bodies without harming themselves or their fetus.

It used to be that medical professionals advised pregnant mothers to stop exercising altogether for fear that it would impose too much stress on a fetus. However in the recent years studies and research has been published proving the opposite. In fact, exercises when done properly can increase oxygen through the body, which is beneficial to both the mother and unborn child.

Body after Delivery

For pro athletes that maintain a healthy body weight and indexes throughout their pregnancy, the post body recovery and maintenance is far easier since they remained active throughout their pregnancy. During pregnancy pro athletes will typically decrease their exercise regimes in order to remain in a healthy state but not pose threat to their unborn babies.

Traditional stretching exercises are omitted as these can be damaging, and cardiovascular exercise is still maintained, but to a less exhaustive degree. One thing that most athletes have in common after delivering babies is that they take the recommended six weeks off post delivery and then commit to resuming their training schedules right after, which are always rigorous.

They also have to be crafty and creative in order to balance motherhood and the demands of exercise. Finding time for self care can be challenging so it may be that you have to rise before the kids get up to fit in a run, or exercise later in the day when they are in bed.

Maintaining an active fitness level with your kids is also important for pro athletes. Running strollers are a great way to fit in some cardiovascular exercise while at the same time spending time with their children.

Other pro athletes finagle fitness and motherhood by joining gyms that also have a daycare center. That way their fitness regime is not compromised and they still have reputable care for the young ones as they continue to train for post pregnancy athletic events.

Most important for pro athletes who want to balance motherhood and fitness is organization. Since motherhood takes a considerable amount of time and dedication, as does training, many increase the intensity of workouts so that if they have to miss one, they are still exercising at optimal levels.

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