We're getting close to that time of year. Spring ball is wrapping up, and fall training is a few months away. Summer is a time for both the body and the mind to rest. And rest is so important.
Rest is essential for the body to regenerate. Physically, rest allows the muscles to replenish glycogen and repair body tissue. It's the regeneration phase when the body (and mind) really develop.
There have been many studies done about the condition of overtraining, but it's always a good idea to take a break when you notice the following symptoms:
- Moodiness and depression
- Overall fatigue that doesn't go away after brief rests
- Decreased appetite
- Increased illness and injuries
- Altered sleep patterns.
This depression could dampen the overall competitive desire. And a team that doesn't really want to win, won't.
Physical rest is good for the body and can help the recovery process. One of the easiest ways to get physical rest is to sleep. Sleep deprivation makes it harder for the body to maintain endurance. It also raises the cortisol levels and decreases human growth hormones which are essential during tissue repair. Sleep helps mental health, hormonal balance and muscular recovery.
Mental rest, however is just as important as physical rest for competitive athletes. Taking a break and enjoying activities that are not a part of training are important for getting quality mental rest.
The benefits of mental rest include:
- Increased alertness and focus
- Help with visualization
- Improved learning
- Enhanced mood (which helps the entire team.)
So, enjoy the time off. Get plenty of sleep. Chill with friends. Bring on the Netflix marathon. Fall will be here before you know it.