With our lives being filled with work, exercise and commitments with family and friends, we often find ourselves not taking enough time to rest and this can lead to negative impacts on our mental health. Rest is seen as a fundamental part of success, health, and happiness. No matter what must be done during the week, resting and unplugging from the digital world is vital to your long-term health.

 

Today, Annabel and the Longevity Exercise Physiology teams at Drummoyne, EdgecliffMarrickvilleBella VistaRandwick, PymbleBalmain and Neutral Bay discuss the reasons why resting during your day and week is so important to your physical and mental long-term health.  

 

Rest is vital and should be scheduled into your daily and weekly schedules. In 2020-21, 15% of Australians aged 16-85 years experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress (“First insights from the National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing, 2020-21”, 2022). The terms “sleep” and “rest” can be used interchangeably, and both have important influences on the mind and body to ensure maintenance of physical and mental well-being. However, sleep and rest play different roles and have different purposes for our health. It’s important to understand that rest is very individualisti

c. Rest can be of brief or long duration and involves cessations to work, physical exertion, and emotional stress. Rest can begin from the moment you finish a training session. Getting an adequate cool down and stretch is the first step in allowing your body to adequately recover. In addition, allowing your body to get sufficient high-quality sleep, drinking plenty of water, and fuelling your body with nutritious food are the next necessary steps to recovery (Health, 2022). Taking a break, even for a few minutes, can offer you the refuelling you need to persevere through your day or week.

 

In terms of exercise, being able to let your body rest throughout the week from training, allows your body to repair and strengthen after the stress your body endured during the workout. Overtraining can be physically damaging to your body which can lead to injury or reverse the positive effects of exercise. During the rest period, this allows your muscles and connective tissue to repair faster and therefore you are able to train harder and more effectively in your next session. Recovery will not only prevent the dangerous and difficult to reverse over-training syndrome, but it will also help you reach higher levels of fitness (“The Benefits Of Resting And How To Unplug In A Busy World”, 2022). As well as this, exercise requires us to use our body’s energy stores and fluids, so rest and recovery give the body time to replenish these energy stores. Some studies have shown that the body needs at least 24 hours to fully replace our muscle’s store of carbohydrates. Maintaining an adequate store of muscle glycogen, is important for training and maintaining stable blood sugar levels (“Importance of Rest & Recovery – Atmosphere Health + Fitness Club Penrith”, 2022).

Resting has also been shown to promote mental health, boost creativity, increase productivity, promote well-being, reduce stress, improve mood, and strengthen relationships.

Adequate rest helps your body activate its inner healing cascade and return to a state of homeostasis. This is when your body can repair and recover.  Stress, anxiety, and depression, have becoming more prevalent in today’s society.

Stress can suppress your immune system and increases your risk of chronic disease.

When you are stressed, your body experiences the flight-or-flight response, which can increase heart rate and blood pressure. Rest activates the parasympathetic nervous system, the opposite of the sympathetic nervous system, which is the flight-or-fight response. Therefore, the importance of rest should not be overlooked and is vital for improvements in your physical, mental, social, and emotional health (“Rest vs. Sleep: What’s the Difference? | Sleep.org”, 2022).

Understanding your individual needs in terms of rest and recovery are important. For you it may be reading a book during the day, for someone else it might be taking part in a meditation class. Whatever the activity or the length of time that you may need to recover is important to include, to allow you to think clearer, be more productive and train well in the next training session.

 

If you want to know more about the importance of rest and how you can implement this into your routine during the week, give Longevity Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Pymble, Marrickville, Randwick, Drummoyne, Balmain, Bella Vista, and Neutral Bay a call on 1300 964 002 to book in a session today!

 

Written by Annabel Bergman

References:

First insights from the National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing, 2020-21. (2022). Retrieved 11 April 2022, from https://www.abs.gov.au/articles/first-insights-national-study-mental-health-and-wellbeing-2020-21

Health, I. (2022). Why It’s Important to Allow Yourself to Rest. Retrieved 11 April 2022, from https://integrisok.com/resources/on-your-health/2021/april/why-its-important-to-allow-yourself-to-rest

Rest vs. Sleep: What’s the Difference? | Sleep.org. (2022). Retrieved 11 April 2022, from https://www.sleep.org/how-sleep-works/resting-vs-sleeping/

Importance of Rest & Recovery – Atmosphere Health + Fitness Club Penrith. (2022). Retrieved 11 April 2022, from https://www.atmospherefitness.com.au/importance-rest-recovery/

The Benefits Of Resting And How To Unplug In A Busy World. (2022). Retrieved 11 April 2022, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2021/01/15/the-benefits-of-resting-and-how-to-unplug-in-a-busy-world/?sh=7ff924852133