Los Angeles, CA – 2/10/2014—
The Olympics give us glances atprofessional athletes from the world over, allowing them to display theirtalents on global stage. But after thegames are over, there are a few months that follow where these elite athletestake some time off. But time off for aprofessional athlete doesn’t look like time off does to the rest of theworld. So how do athletes stay fitduring the off-season from their usual sport?
It’s important to take breaksfrom certain physical activities every now and then to keep the body frombecoming too accustomed to the exercise, or risk exposing oneself to repetitiveuse injuries. “If you train year-roundin your sport, you don’t do as well as if you take two to six weeks off,” sayselite track and field athletic trainer Doug Graham.
This is why many Olympians take along break after the games to just rest before resuming any type of trainingprogram. Some take actual vacations toexotic locations, or simply stay at home and relax. But soon enough they’re back on the field orthe track and training again.
After a break, even Olympiansneed to start off slow. 2008 Olympictriathlete Matt Reed mentions taking at least two weeks to ease back into hisnormal training schedule, and Ultramarathon runner Croix Sather has said aftera break he begins training again with slow jogs and short runs over a span of2-3 weeks before moving back into the intense training.
What we can learn from eliteathletes is how breaks from rigorous training can actually improve ourperformance in sports, and the importance of respecting the body’s need forrest and an easy move back into a training schedule after a break.
If looking to enhance performanceor increase physical fitness, be sure to take adequate time off and allow thebody to rest before easing back into a training schedule. The professionals do it, and we should followtheir example in our own quest for fitness gold.
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