You’ve pushed yourself hard this year, and you’re scared that taking a break this December might hamper your training and put you on the back foot in 2020.
However, for committed athletes, taking a break from training while they’re on holiday might actually hold many benefits. While training is certainly important, the importance of rest can never be overstated.
Here is why it won’t hurt to take a break from training this December.
1. Recovery is crucial
Prioritising your recovery from niggling injuries that you might have tried to ignore this year will most definitely aid your performance in the new year. In fact, giving your muscles some recovery time can actually help new tissue to develop, and toning down your normal training regime helps to get you ready and hungry for a great 2020.
2. Catch up on some zzzzs
Sleep is paramount to sporting performance, but sometimes takes a back seat to work and exercise. This December, try to establish a good bedtime routine that you can take into 2020 with you.
3. De-stress body and mind
When you gear down your exercise routine, you’re not only giving your body a chance to get rid of pent-up stress, but also allowing your mind to let go of all the things that caused anxiety during the year. If you haven’t done it yet, now is a great time to implement mindfulness practices like meditation, or to consider yoga as an alternative to your normal gym routine.
4. Resting helps you to avoid burnout
Burnout is a very common phenomenon in an era where we rarely ever switch off, and is the result of soldiering on without making rest and recovery a priority. If you don’t take a proper break this December, you run the risk of burning out early in the new year. Make no mistake: this will definitely derail your training more than a few weeks off will.
5. Come back stronger and better
When we rest, we give our bodies a chance to get rid of the fatigue that may have resulted from everything you had on your plate in 2019. As anyone that doesn’t get to exercise as much as they’d like to can attest, the anticipation of the next session in the gym might cause you to feel a bit like a tiger in a cage. When this energy is ultimately released, you’ll be fresh, rested and ready for action. Even if you are marginally less fit than you were when the vacation commenced, resting makes you stronger in the long run, aiding the small performance improvements you’re looking for in the new year.