When training for an endurance race such as a triathlon or marathon, I enjoy my rest days; which are vital to training success. Your body’s ability to recover is just as important as logging those miles.
According to Women’s Running, rest and sleeping are critical for performance, as deprivation can impair post-exercise recovery. During a workout, your muscles break down on a cellular level. Resting allows the body to repair those cells, enabling you to bounce back stronger and faster. Insufficient sleep, rest and recovery also impacts our immune system.
Proper training, nutrition and recovery (including sleep and relaxation) are the vital three components to training. While adequate sleep is critical so are rest days and relaxation sessions. It’s also important to have days where you recover and restore mentally, physically and emotionally. Here are five ways I relax and crack open life.
5 Ways for Athletes to Relax
Make your bedroom a device-free zone. I charge all electronics in my living room. This helps me to focus on relaxing as opposed to checking email or social media.
Yoga & Meditation
Practicing yoga and meditation helps reduce mental and physical stress. If you are unable to attend a yoga class or you don’t know how to meditate check out YouTube for some FREE resources. One of our favorite bloggers, BexLife, has tons of 3-5 minute meditation videos as well as yoga workouts on her channel.
Spa time will help you relax and restore your mind, body, and especially your spirit. My best friend and I meet up for spa time every few months. It’s our time to catch-up and it also forces us to take a moment to breathe and prepare for what’s ahead. Typically, we get a reflexology massage, a pedicure and have a healthy meal.
There’s nothing wrong with staying at home. Treat yourself by hiring a cleaning service, ordering in your favorite meal while watching a movie or even taking a nice long bath. The key to a home-cation is to turn off your devices and be lazy. This means absolutely no work.
If you can swing it, plan a trip. You dont have to go far. You can find a local hotel deal on Groupon and go to the closest city to relax or explore the sites. I always bring a small lunch kit or cooler filled with a few healthy snacks for the road. I also never leave home without my travel blender. I can whip up a smoothie anywhere I go and it helps me not overindulge. Once settled, I stop at a local Target, CVS or Costco’s to pick a few items such as fresh fruit, nuts, distilled water and ZICO® Premium Coconut Water™. I often drink ZICO to rehydrate after spending a day at the pool or use either the natural or chocolate flavor in one of my morning green smoothies.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by ZICO® Premium Coconut Water™ through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about ZICO® Premium Coconut Water™, all opinions are my own.