Monitoring of scientifically based programs is useful and certainly rewarding, but many people lack one very important factor for balanced organism: rest, or scientifically: regeneration. If you do not regenerate your body properly, your muscle development will not be optimal. The process of regeneration is a much more important and complex process than most people can even imagine.
What is regeneration? Regeneration is a process during which your body regenerates and repairs the muscle fibers that were slightly damaged during exercising. Not only does it repair them, but it achieves super compensation (i.e. repaired fibers are getting bigger and stronger than they were before).
After strong training, the nervous system and endocrine system also have the need for regeneration. The nervous system again packs the nerves to adapt to the increased load and to better control the specific motor functions used during the training. The endocrine system restores itself to balance, from the resulting hormonal shock caused by strong physical efforts. Exercising only destroys muscle fibers and growth, while strengthening occurs during our sleep. Exercising is catabolic, and resting is anabolic.
Most people do not sleep well, especially because of stress caused by work, family and social obligations. Even if we are too busy, we definitely have to try to sleep every day for 7-8 hours. During sleep, much of the regeneration process takes place and secretions of growth hormone occur. Less sleep means lower muscle development. Let’s not forget napping over the day, it is very useful and very good regeneration method even if it is 20-30 minutes of sleep. Apart from the prevention of muscle growth, lack of sleeping or good sleep causes many other problems. Lack of sleeping can cause depression, heart and circulatory diseases, digestive disorders, muscle pain, headaches, allergies, irritability, decreased mental capacity, lack of appetite, and many other problems.
It is very important to monitor the signals that our body sends. What signs indicate that we are suffering from a lack of sleep? Reduced alertness and longer responsive time are first visible signs. Sleeping latency is an indicator that shows us how fast we can fall asleep. If we fall asleep immediately, we are extremely exhausted. Our mood is very important for us. Insufficient sleeping goes along with irritability, both before and after sleeping. Healthy and quality sleeping makes us fresh and eliminates the irritating mood. Micro sleep is a short (maximum 30 seconds) period when we do not react to external stimuli. We actually sleep, but very little. If it happens several times during the day, it is a clear sign that we are suffering from a lack of sleep. If we press the button on the clock in the morning to snooze the alarm for another 10 minutes, it’s also a sign of a sleeping deficit. We have to protect our immune system, because we can easily harm it without any intent.
Active rest is also effective after prolonged and difficult intellectual work. The fatigue will most likely be removed by stretching, walking in fresh air, gymnastic exercises, or swimming. Passive rest includes interrupting activities, sitting, laying and sleeping. This type of rest is useful both for simple and severe physical activities. Resting of individual muscle groups and changing of body positions give the best results. Massaging muscle groups that have been engaged or overloaded can also be beneficial, as the massage speeds up blood circulation in the muscles and encourages the elimination of accumulated metabolites.
Having some rest after sports activities should be taken into account. A certain consideration should be given to the timing of the break, its duration, number of repetitions, and its purpose. If we ask a person who exercises to devote to the training fully, then a short break after the exercising will not be effective. In order to restore the capabilities to a normal level, a relatively long rest is needed. It is necessary to have some rest before the symptoms of fatigue become visible, otherwise everything we done will have no results.
Still, sleep cannot be replaced by anything. Reducing general activity and body temperature, decreasing activity in the central nervous system, as well as relaxing of the muscles allow the recovery of energy and other necessary substances. The right time to sleep is when the body can take the greatest benefit from sleeping, because when we sleep, we recover and regain energy. This is the basic purpose of sleeping.? Between 22h and midnight, the body produces the highest dose of growth hormone, which is essential for all stages of recovery of the body and our mind. Lack of this hormone means incomplete recovery, the feel of exhaustion and bad mood during the next day.
From all of the above, it is evident that if we want to become muscular, healthy and slim, it is not enough to regularly visit the gym, feed properly, and use the best dietary supplements. Without sufficient quantity and quality of sleep, not only will we not develop properly, but we will seriously endanger our health.
Guest Blogger Bio: Vanessa Davis is a 32-year-old fitness enthusiast, mother of two and content writer at www.diet.st. She’s originally from Long Island, New York, and when she isn’t cooking up some new health and fitness article, she enjoys doing yoga and figuring out new, delicious organic recipes for herself and her kids.