Resting strategies to get you super-fit

mens fitness
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It’s January, and chances are you’re hitting the gym with renewed vigour. But are you leaving one piece out of the puzzle? Jessie Pavelka, fitness and wellbeing mentor in Sky 1 HD’s Obese: A Year To Save My Life, says rest is a seriously underestimated aspect of training. ‘Rest and recovery run parallel to physical activity. Todayʼs society is more stimulating and taxing than ever and one of the most important things we over look is the amount of rest we should be giving ourselves. Here are some great tools and techniques that can help ensure that you get the rest and recovery you need.’

Take some deep breaths

Before bed taking some deep breaths is a great way to relax the body. After being up all day our breathing tends to be very shallow due to anxiety and the pressures of work and other commitments. Taking deep breaths will get your mind and body back into calm mode. This works just as well at any time of day if you feel the need to relax.

Switch off 

The brain is very stimulated by things such as your TV, computers and smartphones. Whether you are constantly communicating, surfing the web or glued to the TV, you are not able to relax under the influence of any of these – in fact they’re known to cause sleeplessness. There is a time and a place to use these devices, but before bed is not one of them. Studies show that reading a book, writing, or listening to calming music will help you unwind.

Balance your blood sugar

Eat healthy, balanced meals throughout the day to ensure steady blood sugar levels. Avoid excessive amounts of stimulants such as coffee and sugar. Alcohol is fine in moderate amounts, but know that you wonʼt get as restful a night of sleep nor will you feel as vital the next day if you’re drinking, so go easy.

Do something physical

Do whatever it is you enjoy and are motivated to do regularly. Whether thatʼs a tough workout at the gym, a team sport or a vigorous uphill hike, make sure you get out there at least four or five days a week. Studies have shown that running can be as effective as mood-elevating drugs like Prozac. Bottom line: just do something. 


Make time for it. Sometimes we need to make a concerted effort to get to bed at a good hour, at least during the week. If you are well rested your workouts will be stronger, you will look and feel better and your mental capacity will be greater.

Joel Snape

From 2008 to 2018, Joel worked for Men's Fitness, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Though he spent years running the hills of Bath, he’s since ditched his trainers for a succession of Converse high-tops, since they’re better suited to his love of pulling vans, lifting cars, and hefting logs in a succession of strongman competitions.