Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/10/2014 -- The Olympics give us glances at professional athletes from the world over, allowing them to display their talents on global stage. But after the games are over, there are a few months that follow where these elite athletes take some time off. But time off for a professional athlete doesn’t look like time off does to the rest of the world. So how do athletes stay fit during the off-season from their usual sport?
It’s important to take breaks from certain physical activities every now and then to keep the body from becoming too accustomed to the exercise, or risk exposing oneself to repetitive use injuries. “If you train year-round in your sport, you don’t do as well as if you take two to six weeks off,” says elite track and field athletic trainer Doug Graham.
This is why many Olympians take a long break after the games to just rest before resuming any type of training program. Some take actual vacations to exotic locations, or simply stay at home and relax. But soon enough they’re back on the field or the track and training again.
After a break, even Olympians need to start off slow. 2008 Olympic triathlete Matt Reed mentions taking at least two weeks to ease back into his normal training schedule, and Ultramarathon runner Croix Sather has said after a break he begins training again with slow jogs and short runs over a span of 2-3 weeks before moving back into the intense training.
What we can learn from elite athletes is how breaks from rigorous training can actually improve our performance in sports, and the importance of respecting the body’s need for rest and an easy move back into a training schedule after a break.
If looking to enhance performance or increase physical fitness, be sure to take adequate time off and allow the body to rest before easing back into a training schedule. The professionals do it, and we should follow their example in our own quest for fitness gold.
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