Why relaxing is good for you

If evenings in front of the television eating mince pies are making you worry that the past 12 months of slogging at the gym will count for nothing, this is not necessarily the case, reports The Times.

Leading exercise scientists have found that a break from the gym might be exactly what your body needs.” Rest and recovery are often overlooked, but are as important as exercise itself,” says John Brewer, professor of sport at the University of Bedfordshire. “Even elite athletes have one easy day a week to allow their bodies to recover from the stresses of training and to encourage the positive physiological changes, such as muscle growth, that are induced by hard workouts.”

Brewer says that unless we allow our bodies to recuperate during a rest period then our exercise regime will be doomed. “You may improve in the short term, but each body part generally needs 24 hours to recover from hard exercise.

Time away from the gym and your usual fitness routine and training sessions will give you the opportunity to recharge mentally and will also allow you to overcome any general fatigue you might feel if you haven’t had enough rest.

Lastly, it can prevent you from getting stuck in an exercise rut. If you are going to the gym or session during which you repeat the same activity week after week, month after month then you are likely to feel like you are in a rut and this could ultimately mean you stop altogether. Taking a few days out will allow you to relax and then you can get back into the swing of things for the New Year.

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Emma Hilton

Written by Emma Hilton

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