Proper rest and relaxation are important to give the mind and body time to recuperate. Like muscles that become sore due to use, the brain needs time to relax. Without this time, function and performance decrease and complications arise. Inadequately rested muscles can lead to injury and a tired mind can create stress and confusion. Be sure you are taking enough time to relax between your training and lifestyle.
The human body cannot achieve an optimum level of health and fitness without the mind being in a relaxed state. As mental rest and relaxation are key components of good health and fitness, it is important that you become familiar with the approaches and techniques associated with balancing the mind.
Make a routine before bed, ensure that you go to bed at the same time every night and you get at least 7- 8 hours sleep
Taking a warm bath or shower half an hour before bed helps relax those tense muscles
Make sure your bedroom is dark and has blackout blinds, this will help promote you into a deep sleep
Turning off your television, tablet and mobiles before sleep to prevent interruptions during sleep
Using a Journal or a notepad to put down on paper what you have achieved that day or plan to do the next day. This will help you feel more organised and in control
Avoid coffee, tea and other stimulants after 3pm
A massage/sports massage can relieve stress, promotes relaxation, improves sleep, reduces muscle soreness, lowers blood pressure, improves performance and flexibility and improves cardiovascular health!
Take time out to enjoy time with loved ones, a weekend away or watch a movie and take time out for yourself
Laugh: Laughter releases endorphins into the body, helping you to relax and feel good
Listen to music that you enjoy. This has been proven to increase Dopamine levels in the brain helping you to feel good about yourself
Sleep is also necessary for your overall health, fitness and mental well-being. Experts recommend seven to eight hours of sleep to obtain the maximum benefits, which there are many.
Lack of sleep has been proven to lower the efficiency of your immune system. Sleep deprivation can lead to the result of you becoming susceptible to colds, viruses and flus. Not getting enough sleep can prevent people from losing weight as this disrupts your bodies hormones, which are the very ones you need to be balanced for optimal body composition.
Stretching is another important component of your relaxation, well-being and fitness. Stretching can be done anywhere, before bed, in the morning after weight training, or aerobic exercise.
In addition, stretching should be done when muscles, tendons and ligaments are properly warmed up. This means it is best to stretch just after a warm bath or shower following from a brief physical warm-up routine. You can hold each stretch for up to a minimum of 30 seconds and extend to the point of tension, but stop before pain. Stretching works by increasing the muscles', ligaments' and tendons' ability to elongate. By taking the time to stretch, and hence elongate your soft tissue, you can increase your flexibility.
While most exercises tend to tighten muscles, ligaments and tendons, stretching assists in keeping them flexible. This makes daily activities and exercise easier and safer. Stretching also improves your range of motion. Good range of motion makes moving limbs in their joints easier, including ones that could prevent or lessen the severity of injury.
Flexibility and the elongation of your body's soft tissue will also improve blood circulation. This, in turn, will keep your muscles, ligaments and tendons supplied with oxygen so that they are able to recover more quickly from workouts or injury. Finally, stretching can relieve stress by relaxing the tense muscles that often accompany mental tension.