Understanding Stressors & Rest In Relation To Personal Training Goals & General Health
It is in the hours that you rest that anabolism (tissue regeneration and reinforcement) occurs. So in relation to training towards fat loss and muscle enhancement, your goals are dependent upon good rest too. It wouldn’t hurt most people to be aware of this anyway.
Be mindful of what foods and drinks you consume later on in the day such as caffeine rich drinks after 3/4pm and also high glycaemic index and load foods (if you don’t know what these are then ask me or wait until I write another lengthy post explaining them). These could impact on the depth of sleep you will obtain.
The greatest release of growth hormone occurs in stages 3 and 4 (also known as REM – rapid eye movement). Growth hormone gets big thumbs up when it comes to training for better sports performance, ‘better’ body composition and generally improved health markers.
What good rest is not: Sitting watching telly for countless hours, our bodies to some extent actually vividly process the visual stimulus as if we’re experiencing what’s going on but without all the appropriate physiological responses to go with it. So for example we can empathize with the emotions and circumstances of the people in the telly but are powerless to interact with them. So our brains are actually pretty active during what many people deem as common ‘rest time’.
Chuck in a cup of coffee/alcohol/can of monster or maybe even sweets in that mix and while you are sat doing ‘nothing’ you’re actually stimulating your adrenal glands even further which promotes the release of cortisol (appropriate stress response hormone).
Excessive cortisol is usually always present in those in which claim to be suffering from stress and its related ailments. Too much cortisol over a period of time also has the added bonus of breaking down muscle tissue and storing fat, not ideal for most!
Not to mention the act of sitting over extended periods of time plays a significant role in back pain as some of our musculature gets accustomed to being in habitually contracted (hip flexors, possibly pecs) and relaxed (glutes, core) states. This doesn’t likely help us support a solid structure when our musculature is no longer programmed to effectively support our frames. This isn’t the only factor in back pain by the way but one aspect to be aware of.
We are still more primitive than many think in terms of our physiology and haven’t magically adapted to a lot of modern day stimulus and stimulants.
I have been guilty of some of the above in the past and have since learnt from it and now manage all of the above far better. But there are still many people out there that do not realise the hazards of not getting the right kind of rest and the effect it can have on personal training.
If you’ve read this far, you are awesome!