Health & Safety

April 19, 2013

Resting muscles, body, mind vital to fitness success

Although it is great to be fit, it is also important to properly rest muscles and get enough sleep.

Overtraining is bad and can cause a lot of problems, said Marlyn Shults, 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron exercise physiologist.

“If you experience a decline in performance, your times are slower or you aren’t able to lift as much, you may be overtraining,” she said. “Injuries and insomnia are other warning signs.”

The cure is rest, Shults said.

“Without sleep the workout means nothing,” she said. “Sleep has to be planned and is as important as the workout itself.”

So, just how much sleep do you need?

“It’s different for everyone,” Shults said. “The more intense the workout, the longer the recovery should be. And, naps in the afternoon can boost energy and help with recovery when working out more than once a day.”

After an intense work out, it is critical to at least rest the muscle groups worked, Shults said.

“The recommended amount of rest needed after intense workouts like CrossFit is 24 to 48 hours,” she said. “Sometimes people run into problems when they exercise every day and rotate muscle groups. They can accidently work out muscle groups they don’t intend to. So, they think they are resting a particular muscle group when they really aren’t.”

As with anything, balance is the key, Shults said. Sleep, food and exercising are all equally important in meeting goals and improving overall fitness and health.

 




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