When you’re on a motivation high, it can be easy to just go all out and push your body to its limits, which can feel like you’re getting more done, whether that its work, training or things around the house. However, it can be very easy to overdo it; in this day and age we all live such busy lives, working, socialising, running a household of kids, it all adds up quickly and often we forget to take a step back and have a rest.
Self neglect is probably more common than you’d think
Resting doesn’t necessarily mean sleep. It could be as simple as taking 20 mins from your work to read a book and get some fresh air. This is no different to training; you complete a circuit or set, and you have a rest to recharge for the next round: the same thing applies to all facets of life! For training, in particular resistance training, it is important to allocate specific rest days. This is because resistance training causes micro muscle tears, which is then repaired to make your muscles stronger (how you gain strength). But if you neglect this giving your body a break, you risk doing real damage; torn or pulled muscles, strained tendons, and even stress fractures can all be caused by overuse.
Sometimes you just need to step back and relax.
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What’s your attention span…
In many ways rest is more so mental than physical. Did you know the average attention span is only 50 minutes? How much can you really get done in that time? Take a break, reset and refresh your body and mind! Staying well hydrated is also key to maintaining concentration and performance, so always keep your fluids up – there’s nothing worse than being dehydrated and staring at a screen – all that’s going to give you is a splitting headache!
The average attention span is only 50 minutes
What about sleep?
Now let’s talk about the rest we all know and love: sleep! What you probably already know, is that the recommended amount of sleep for an adult is 8 hours. What you might not be aware of is the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation. Just as your muscles need time to repair, so do other parts of the body, in particular the heart. The heart is a muscle, and one that is constantly working, so needs sufficient rest to be repaired. Ongoing sleep deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stoke. Lack of sleep can also be a contributing factor in diabetes; up to 1 hour of lost sleep can increase the risk.
Sleep deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease
How many hours do you get on average per night?
Hormones and sleep
Many hormone imbalances can be traced back to sleep deprivation as well. Sleep helps maintain your ghrelin (when you feel hungry) and leptin (when you feel full), meaning it can cause you to eat more than what you actually need! Your insulin and cortisol levels can also be drastically effected by sleep deficiency! Cortisol is responsible for your immune system. Without the right amount of cortisol, your body becomes vulnerable to the most common infections – ever been sick after working in overdrive? That’s probably why!
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