(NaturalNews) Proper rest is essential for proper recovery. Most athletes understand this, yet their competitive drive and the false belief that `more is better` leads them to over-train. The body heals and repairs muscles and joints during rest periods, and continuous overtraining has been shown to dramatically reduce performance. Rest days allow us to heal and repair both physically and psychologically.
Variety is considered the spice of life because it provides unique experiences and drives our cerebellum to learn new activities and tasks. Rest days provide the opportunity to think differently and bring a greater degree of depth to their lives. This process reinvigorates the athletes' drive for success in their individual sport. Recreational athletes and lay people engaging in a regular exercise program need rest days as well in order to provide better balance among home, work, family and enjoyment.
Athletes, who are consistently training and focusing specifically on their sport, can often experience mental burn-out. This leads to a general feeling of fatigue, malaise and a loss of enthusiasm for their sport. This very often causes moodiness and depression and a decrease in training intensity and performance. The unusual result is often times a continued need to compulsively exercise out of a constant fear of falling short of their expectations. Unfortunately, this mindset only creates more problems and further loss of performance capacity.
Overtraining dramatically affects us on a physical level as well. The most common symptoms we experience are muscle/joint pain, headaches, insomnia and decreased immunity. Athletes and lay people, who do not give themselves adequate rest, very often come down with colds and flu that linger much longer than necessary. They are also much more prone to injury.
Overtraining in any athletic sport or exercise program is a physical stress on the body. Physical stress benefits us when we have appropriate adaptation capacity. Overtraining creates physical stress that exceeds our adaptive capacity and causes a chronic stress response within our body. This chronic stress is characterized by the adrenal hormone cortisol.
Cortisol is a glucocorticoid hormone that boosts blood sugar by catalyzing glycogen from storage points in the liver and muscle tissue. This is necessary during times of stressful physical exertion. However, when this response remains elevated throughout the day it causes major physical problems. Elevated cortisol breaks down tissue collagen. Collagen is the primary protein building block in the skin, muscle, tendon, ligaments, and joint capsules.
Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information go to www.exodushc.com To find a Maximized Living doctor near you go to www.maximizedliving.com