Rest: necessary but often neglected

In this section, we often make sport-related recommendations, focusing particularly on the benefits of the activities described, while explaining the techniques involved. We are well aware that most of our readers are people who are aware of the importance of physical activity. Except that some of them sometimes push the machine to the limit, with the pedal to the floor, often neglecting an essential rule : the importance of rest…

After your sports session, the recovery phase is essential to help the body regenerate. All physical exercise requires energy input and puts pressure on the cardiovascular system, but also damages muscle and tendon fibers. It’s important that towards the end of your session, as far as possible, you take 5 to 10 minutes to cool down, reducing the intensity of your effort. Your heart rate and blood pressure will drop, and you’ll find it easier to breathe. A bit like a car, you decelerate gently, downshifting.

Then comes the recovery and stretching phase, the aim being to relax the muscles and avoid creating a musculoskeletal imbalance. You need to take it easy, concentrating on the muscles involved in the session. Wait a day or two if you’ve made an intense effort or are still feeling pain.

Another essential element is sleep. Hours spent in bed are essential. While your mind is resting, your body is still awake. Hormones and cells compensate, repair and restructure muscle fibers and other systems stressed during exercise.

Even if you’re fully fit, don’t feel pain after exercise or are a top athlete, it’s advisable to take two rest days in the week, or go for a light activity.

In short, recovery remains a key factor in the progression of the training process. If it’s insufficient, the body can’t regenerate, but more importantly it significantly increases the risk of injury. And that’s just what we don’t want…


By Roger Lemay