What can I do on rest days?
I get this question a lot quite a lot from people who feel that if they are not training they’re wasting their time, or not improving.
So before we can talk about things you can do to enhance the recovery it's important to understand the mental aspect.
Practically everyone who works out enjoys what they are doing. From an athlete to a regular person, whether it’s dance, martial arts or any type of workout, people enjoy it, and all kinds of hormones and neurotransmitters are released that make this activity very enjoyable.
On rest days many people miss this rush or “high”. However, rest is needed, it’s during rest that the body improves, the body becomes more flexible, the body adjusts to become stronger, the body adjusts to become faster, it's not during the time when there’s stress placed on the body.
It’s during the time of recovery from stress that the body improves its abilities.
It's very important to mentally understand this and say this to yourself if you feel uncomfortable that a day has gone by without doing any activities.
What can you do?
However, there are many things you can do during rest that will improve your recovery improve your body's capability to heal and develop the flexibility or any other quality that you are after.
- One very obvious thing is to hydrate and eat well.
Sports nutrition is a huge topic, and it's beyond the scope of this article but it is something to keep in mind. If you’re eating well, you’re hydrating, getting the right supplements, if you take supplements then have in your mind you understanding that you doing something to help your flexibility though you're not actually stretching.
- Next thing is massage.
Massage is big as long as you don't overdo it whether it’s dry massage or the stick, small balls, large balls, or any other object for this purpose or you go to a massage therapist, or you use specific oils, on yourself massage will help with recovery, it will help speed up your progress and you can do that while you're not stretching.
- Next is breathing exercises.
The deeper you breath the more oxygen you get in, the better off you’re going to be, you can do plenty of breathing exercises, whether it's sitting or movement you can do that when not working on EasyFlexibility programs.
You can also do visualizations where you visualize yourself in the position that you want to be, which may be a split, a penche, or high developpe, or side kick, visualization has helped.
- And finally light stretches.
Make sure that the word light is not taken lightly. You can do very light stretches in between your workouts so if you do ZST and supporting exercises on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the days in between you can do light stretches.
You do have to understand that when you do light stretches you will not get the same level of flexibility as you did the day before or maybe even a few days before or what you're going to get the next day, you must understand and accept the fact that you're not training for full flexibility that day. If you do not accept that you might get disappointed and confuse yourself thinking that you're supposed to be just as flexible as when you did the ZST’s and supporting exercises.
You do not want to disappoint yourself, if you’re a person who can get easily disappointed then do not do the light stretches in between. This is simply because some people will just not be happy because of the fact that they're not going to see the same levels of flexibility in the last days and other people will try to make themselves happy by deciding to push and achieve the same level of flexibility with light relaxed stretches as they did the day before and this is a dangerous mindset and that is something that can hurt and stop the progress.
So if you are going to do light stretches in between make sure that you have the right mindset.
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