The Importance of Proper Rest for Optimal Sports Performance

It is commonly believed that to achieve substantial muscle growth it is necessary to exhaust oneself in a gym and consume lots of protein supplements. No one can deny that training and nutrition are crucial for getting good results. Yet there is another factor, no less important—indeed, essential. It is the rest the body needs in order to repair and strengthen itself. Why is it necessary for the body to be fully restored before the next workout? Lack of proper rest can lead to cumulative exhaustion and the development of overtraining syndrome. When that happens, training progress slows down and results may start to diminish. You feel constant fatigue, yet there is no growth; you try training even more but there is no improvement. Instead the fatigue keeps growing and your motivation eventually starts to decline. If overtraining becomes chronic, it can even lead to health problems. The reason for that is the drop in anabolic hormone levels and the growth of catabolic hormones, especially cortisol. The immune system is weakened, muscle mass may be lost, and the body becomes more susceptible to infections and injuries of the muscles and tendons. Any physical effort puts stress on the body and provoke a state of emergency. The body reacts with something called supercompensation. It is important to understand that muscle growth happens not DURING training but AFTERWARDS—when you rest. The training itself produces micro-injuries—tiny tears in fibers and the connective tissues of muscles. This not dangerous; in fact, it is absolutely normal: the micro-injuries serve as a signal, telling your body that muscle mass needs to grow in order to cope with increased workload and to adapt to the new conditions. Time between workouts is when this adaptation (the increase in muscle mass) takes place. But that is not all. Rest is still needed to prepare the body for the next workout, to replenish its energy. The damaged muscles also have to be repaired. All that does not happen instantly: it takes time.

For the effective recovery of the whole body, the following three essential elements must be brought together:

Physiological recovery
Muscles grow and become stronger when stimulated by intense workouts. When accompanied by sufficient rest and balanced nutrition, this triggers the process of supercompensation which replenishes the expended energy and restores the damaged muscle fibers, resulting in muscles becoming stronger and bigger.
Recovery of the nervous system
Our nervous system controls muscles during workouts. The more strenuous our physical activity is, the more rest our nervous system requires. Numerous research studies show that muscles can recover from a heavy workout in 4–5 days while the nervous system takes longer to recuperate..
Psychological recovery
It is well known that muscles need rest after a physical effort. The same is true for our brain—it needs effective recovery time. Our whole physiology needs adequate rest. If rest does not get proper attention, the body starts to accumulate fatigue and stress, leading to exhaustion and overtraining syndrome.

The need to ensure proper rest of the whole organism

Lack of adequate rest can slow down the body's recovery mechanism or even stop it altogether. For restoring energy and vitality and releasing stress, it is crucial for the system as a whole to rest. Then the body will always remain strong, healthy and capable of improving athletic results.
If you want your body to work like a finely tuned engine, you need to provide it with proper maintenance. Listen to your body and treat it with respect. It is necessary to schedule time not only for workouts but for adequate rest and recovery. It is just as important as choosing the right workout schedule or tracking your exercise intensity.
Thus, the resting time is a significant factor in restoring the body, boosting its potential, replenishing energy and releasing stress. Every person needs adequate rest for overall rejuvenation and healing of the body. It is even more important for athletes to make it an integral part of the workout planning.

The Gemslight System is precious help for efficient recovery of the whole organism

Gemslight System is an ideal solution for providing athletes—or anyone, for that matter—with the profound and especially important effective rest that is elemental for deep and effective recovery, good health and well-being (see the description under GEMSLIGHT SYSTEM). Treatments with the Gemslight system allow for an efficient and effective holistic RECOVERY after intensive training and sports performance. The most suitable Gemslight equipment for sports and fitness is the CHAISE LONGUE GEMSLIGHT (see the product card).