01 Feb Happiness is working out AND resting up – the importance of recovery
There's absolutely no doubt that working hard is good for you.
Physical exercise, both strengthening and aerobic, is undoubtedly important for fitness and wellbeing. Mental stimulation, also, is vitally important for our psychological wellbeing.
But that being said, too much strenuous effort can lead to injury and illness; too much stimulation can lead to burnout and stress.
What's often ignored or not attended to nearly enough is the importance of rest and recuperation, recovery and repair.
Now I'm not advocating laziness in any way or discouraging people from putting in the hard yards to achieve physical and psychological success and happiness. But I am encouraging you all to consider the reality of not properly caring for your body or mind and the problems one might encounter if one doesn't take into account some important research.
Well, two of the world's leading sports scientists studies, some years ago, the very best athletes in the world. In one study, the specifically investigated the top 10 tennis players and compared them to the remainder of the top 100. All of these were elite athletes; supremely fit and skillful and strong and talented men who's physical prowess was at the very top level.
But there were a few factors that separated the very top few from the rest; and one of these variables was, wait for it…
…their resting pulse rate in between points.
Just think about that for a minute or two. What do you think that means?
Well, I'll tell you. What it means is that those very best players were better able to "switch off" in between points; they were better at conserving energy and recovering rather than continuing to "be on" and waste energy. They recognised and were able to better utilise the power of "switching off".
What does this mean for you?
As always, it will mean different things to different people BUT whether it's in terms of your physical training or your mental activity; whether your aiming for success or happiness or both; whatever your ultimate goals might be…allow yourself time in between the striving for meditation, mindfulness, rest and recuperation. These should not be seen as "doing nothing" or "wasting time" but rather, extremely important components of a true health and wellbeing program.
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