The Three-Day Recovery Rule
Don’t let your rest periods take a toll on your mood.
Every athlete knows that education is a crucial part of performance. Sport and exercise research, insight from top trainers, science, and technology help you to better understand your body so you can craft a healthier lifestyle, workouts, and recovery plan.
In our daily news series, experts address some of the latest fitness research, nutrition, style, and health stories.
Although no definitive conclusions can be drawn from these preliminary findings, it does make sense: Separate research shows regular exercise can act as an antidepressant by causing a release of dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. “People who work out daily may become used to increased levels of these chemicals,” she says. So if you’re sidelined by a busy week at work or you’re nursing an injury, your brain may miss those feel-good neurotransmitters. After three days, the deficiency could catch up to you and your mood could suffer as a result.
If you need a natural upper on rest days, Didymus suggests taking a walk in the morning or during lunch, preferably in a park. The light exercise will raise your heart rate and the green space will boost your mood, she says.