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Relaxation and sport - how are they connected?

At the beginning let’s talk about the sport in common. What are the advantages of sport? How can sport improve our well-being?

As we know sport or even physical activity:

- provides significant benefits for maintaining the health of the heart, brain and the entire human body;
- is the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes;
- reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety;
- improves thinking, learning and critical appraisal skills;
- promotes healthy growth and development of youth;
- increases the overall level of well-being.

Photo by Aan Nizal on Unsplash

Here is a statistic of levels physical activities all over the world (from the WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION):

- More than a quarter of the world’s adult population (1.4 billion adults) are insufficiently active
- Worldwide, around 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men do not do enough physical activity to stay healthy.
- Levels of inactivity are twice as high in high-income countries compared to low-income countries,
- There has been no improvement in global levels of physical activity since 2001
- Insufficient activity increased by 5% (from 31.6% to 36.8%) in high-income countries between 2001 and 2016.

Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

Globally, 28% of adults aged 18 and over were not active enough in 2016 (men 23% and women 32%). This means they do not meet the global recommendations of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes vigorous-intensity physical activity per week.

In high-income countries, 26% of men and 35% of women were insufficiently physically active, as compared to 12% of men and 24% of women in low-income countries.

You can increase your daily physical activity using evening walks before going to bed, housework, active games (with children, friends), walking up stairs instead of an elevator, regular breaks of 5 minutes for gymnastics and walking during work.

And what about relaxation?

Relaxation is a necessary element of a healthy lifestyle. With the correct and strictly observed regime, a clear and necessary rhythm of the body's functioning is developed, which creates optimal conditions for work and rest and thereby contributes to health improvement, improved efficiency and increased labor productivity.

Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash

During sleep, the activity of the physiological functions of a person decreases, the body's forces are aimed at restoring the energy spent during wakefulness. But, despite the fact that the human body is resting, the cells of the body are in an active state, the breakdown of energy-rich phosphorus compounds occurs, proteins and amino acids, which are part of the structural unit of the muscular system, are broken down.

Therefore, the normal duration of daily sleep should be 8–9 hours! Otherwise, the processes of destruction of muscle mass are gradually activated in the body, the energy that appears is harmful, the level of testosterone hormone in the blood decreases slowly but surely, and libido decreases. And, of course, it is quite obvious that without such a basic restorer as sleep, it is useless to count on good sports results.

In order to function properly and be energized, the body needs to get enough sleep. To do this, you need to choose a sleeping mode for yourself, go to bed and wake up every day at the same time and don’t resist sleep when you feel tired. Listen to yourself, set up a correct daily plan, take warm relaxing baths before going to sleep, ventilate the room and then you will always have a great mood and excellent results in sports.

Wish you success in your work on yourself!

Photo by Benjamin Voros on Unsplash

Here some facts about sleeping (source):

- In a normal sleep period, a person experiences four to six sleep cycles.
- REM sleep makes up between 20-25% of total sleep in healthy adults.
- On average, we spend about two hours per night dreaming.
- The key driver of the body’s circadian rhythm, or internal clock, is the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the brain, which is made up of around 20,000 neurons.
- Body temperature during sleep drops by one to two degrees fahrenheit.
- Metabolism drops by around 15% during NREM sleep.
- 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week has been associated with reduced levels of daytime sleepiness and better concentration even when tired.

Do sports. Be healthy. Take your time to relax. Make a happy and healthy life!

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Julia Stecher is an award-winning fitness model, professional nutritionist, and certified personal trainer who provides personal training services in Zurich and online.

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