Allowing your body to rest and recover is just as important as getting the proper amount of physical activity. Without the right amount of recovery after intensive exercise, your body will not be able to properly build muscle, you won’t feel as good and your performance will not be optimized but instead compromised. So why is it so important to take a day off? To allow your body to adapt!
As athletes, we’re constantly putting our minds and bodies under stress. Although this is great stress which we need through exercise, it can get demanding and turn from good stress to bad. If you remember back to a previous article, Am I Getting Enough Daily Physical Activity, golf is a light to moderate intense sport, therefore 150 – 300 minutes a week of play is required in order to maintain the recommended physical activity guidelines. This equates to 5 hours of play or just over one round of golf! We exceed the daily recommendation for physical activity almost every other day. GPC athletes, juniors and adults, easily triple that per week! Not to mention the added workouts, time spent on correctives, ensuring proper nutritional habits, and everything else life throws our way. This is truly amazing… To have the privilege of playing the sport we all love day in and day out while bettering our game as well as our bodies and minds in the process.
However, we sometimes forget to slow down for a minute and let everything we’ve worked so hard for, sink in! The human body is constantly trying to remain something called homeostasis, which is a state of balance to keep our internal systems regulated and functioning properly. Recovery is a process that “includes rest, refueling through nutrition, rehydration, regeneration (repair), resynthesis, reduction of inflammation and restoration that ultimately returns the body to homeostasis.” (Fabio Comana, NASM) Without this, we would not be able to find that internal balance and in turn, improve upon what we are working towards. This is when that “good stress” becomes bad, when we don’t allow our bodies to properly recover.
There are three different modes of recovery we focus on in the Performance Zone. Immediate recovery, which is between repetitions. Short term recovery which is between sets, and training recovery, which is the time between workouts or competition. This all depends on our goal, intensity of the exercise or overall workout, and upcoming events we are preparing ourselves for. Strength, endurance, power, or speed, all alter recovery time based on the focus. This also is a large factor that helps us to decrease the risk of injury and effectively improve overall performance. As a GPC athlete you only need to focus on what to do during your recovery time. Leave the rest up to us Performance Coaches in the gym! So, ask yourself, are you optimizing your performance with proper recovery? Is your body able to return to homeostasis? How are your sleeping habits? What are your nutritional habits like? Are you intaking enough water? If you have trouble with any of these questions, refer back to previous articles on how to better your performance or ask a Performance Coach for healthy recommendations!