As a serious athlete, you’ve, undoubtedly, heard of the much-needed rest day you need to schedule in between your training days, but what may not be so clear is just what you should do on these days.
According to experts, rest days can actually enhance your sports and training performance, provided you make the most of them in some of the following ways:
Take a Hot Bath
Taking a long, warm bath or soaking in a hot tub on your rest day helps relax your muscles and ease your mind, so your body is completely receptive to healing and recovery.
Do Gentle Stretching Exercises
Gentle stretching exercises, such as yoga and Pilates, help improve your flexibility and also help your muscles relax, so they are also great activities to do on your rest day.
The increased muscle flexibility also helps prevent injuries when you resume training or your sport.
According to Legion Athletics, you can also take “a 100% natural pre workout that enhances your energy, mood, and focus” to help boost your efforts and with no crash.
Massage Your Muscles
Massaging your muscles on your rest days helps remove lactic acid, which can cause post-workout discomfort.
Using a foam roller to massage your muscles will enable you to get deep into the tissues, similar to a deep massage offered by a professional spa.
Rest With Your Feet Up
Propping your legs up while you rest increases your blood flow and releases lactic acid. Therefore, place a few pillows under your knees while reading a book or watching your favorite show to help speed recovery.
Hydrate and Eat Well
It is also important to keep your body well hydrated with water or sports drinks on your rest days to help replenish lost fluids. This also helps keep your joints and tissues lubricated, which helps prevent your muscles from becoming sore or cramping.
You should also limit your carb intake since you’re not burning as much energy and increase your lean protein intake to help with muscle repair.
It is also important to add fresh fruits and veggies to your diet because they contain essential minerals and vitamins your body also uses to help build muscle. They are also rich in antioxidants, which help fight free radicals and oxidative stress caused by overtraining, and some fruits, such as citrus, also help reduce inflammation.
Take a Nap
Sleep is also important on your rest day to help with your body’s healing process, and it also helps rest your mind so you can remain focused and more energetic during your workouts.
Now that you know there are various ways to spend your rest days to help improve your training and athletic performance, you can look forward to them to help keep you motivated.