Don't forget to take rest days! Exercise is great, but it's far too easy to over-exercise and cause unnecessary inflammation in your body because you're not giving yourself enough time to recover and repair. Given that our culture is obsessed with diet and exercise as a means of fighting the obesity epidemic, it can be easy to overlook the importance of rest. After all, the mantra is that all you need to do to lose weight and be healthy is to exercise more and eat less junk food. So the more you exercise, the healthier you'll be, right? Well, sort of.
Exercise causes inflammation
Too much exercise causes unnecessary inflammation in the body, and inflammation in any form is bad for you. It causes extra stress on your body and interferes with your body's delicate balance of hormones. Inline skaters often like to keep track of their speed and distance, and for those with even a hint of a competitive spirit, it can be all too easy to push harder by adding extra distance to what should have been a short skate or extra days to the skating calendar that should have been rest days. Inline skating is great. Pushing yourself is great. But sometimes extra skating doesn't mean better skating. Rest days (and technique of course) matter.
Rest/sleep reduces inflammation
Quality sleep helps your body repair and rebalance itself, and when your body is rested and repaired, it will function at its best. According to local Dietitian Cassie in her article "Sleep More to Shed Pounds," sleep helps with weight loss and also "plays a huge role in your energy level and immunity... it's all connected: sleep, immunity, appetite, cravings, metabolism, weight." It's so important - especially as an athlete - to exercise regularly, refuel your body with healthy "clean" food, and to build rest days and quality sleep into your fitness schedule to take time off periodically to allow your body to perform its best.