Recently, I skipped out on my weekly Wednesday night pickleball league; it was raining cats and dogs. Then, I skipped my Thursday night league to help my son finish a school project. So it was two unplanned pickleball absences. I was bummed to miss an opportunity to play. And a couple of days later, I beat myself up for missing exercise.
However, as a few more days passed, I started to feel energized. Spry!
Even though it’s Wellness 101, I had once again forgotten the importance of resting my body.
The Top Signs Your Body Needs Rest
1. You feel overly tired, even after spending 7+ hours in bed sleeping.
We all know how important rest and sleep are for our bodies. A good night’s sleep helps us to feel energized, alert, and ready to take on the day. But sometimes, even after getting enough sleep, we can still feel tired or sluggish throughout the day. This could be due to a variety of factors such as stress, poor diet, lack of exercise or, the always terrifying, underlying health condition. Consider using a sleep tracker to get an idea of how your time asleep is distributed between REM and SWS. And if you’ve read my pickleball blog before, you already know I’m a Whoop fanboy.
2. You’re having trouble concentrating
When your body is not getting enough rest, it can affect how well you can concentrate. Not only does lack of sleep lead to feeling like crap throughout the day, but it can also make it difficult for your brain to focus on tasks. With adequate rest, our brains can process information quickly and efficiently, aiding concentration. Additionally, stress from a busy lifestyle can further contribute to this problem by making it harder for us to relax and get the necessary rest that our bodies need to function properly. I’ve recently added 120mg of ginkgo biloba to my routine; I’ll keep you posted.
3. Your mood is off-kilter, or you have no interest in activities that normally make you happy
Lack of sleep has been linked to decreased productivity and increased stress levels, which can lead to moodiness and irritability. Additionally, not getting enough rest can cause physical symptoms such as headaches or muscle pain that further add to the feeling of being overwhelmed and exhausted. For our bodies to function properly, it’s essential that we give ourselves time each day to relax and recuperate from the demands of life by taking some time out for ourselves each day just so that we’re able to stay healthy both physically and mentally. While there is no substitute for sleep, finding time to rest each day with mindfulness activities or meditation can greatly decrease your sleep deficit.
4. You’re exercising but not seeing results
When it comes to advancing your pickleball player skills rating, there might be nothing harder than moving from a 3.5 player to a 4.0. Did you ever consider that a tired body is holding back your game? Decreased strength, endurance and speed are all associated with a lack of rest. Additionally, fatigue can lead to poor decision-making–and as your pickleball game progresses, mapping out your next few shots is essential to winning.
Additional signs that your body needs rest:
- You’re feeling lethargic, sleeping more than usual
- Your sex drive takes a hit
- Longer-term muscle soreness
- Elevated heart rate
- Yellow urine (lack of hydration)
If you’re experiencing any of these signs, your body is telling you to slow down and rest. It’s important to give yourself regular rest days—not just when you feel exhausted or overwhelmed—to get the most out of your pickleball workout gains and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Tips for How to Rest Your Body
1. Get 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night
2. Go for a leisurely walk outdoors or find an activity that you enjoy without pushing yourself too hard
3. Try yoga or stretching for 15-30 minutes each day
4. Take a hot bath with essential oils (lavender is great!)
5. Give your body the nutrients it needs – eat healthy, nutrient-dense foods like fruits and vegetables
6. Unplug from technology and spend time in nature, such as a park or beach
7. Make time for self-care, like massage and acupuncture
Giving your body the rest it needs is one of the best things you can do for yourself. I used to play tennis with a guy who would hang his racquet up in November and pull in back down in March; it was essentially a five-month hibernation to enjoy seven months of exercise. I’m not a medical professional, but I always found the tactic odd. However, I could never dispute how fresh he would be when he returned to play.
Finding a rest plan to optimize your body and then discipline to keep it enforced will take some trial and error. Perhaps most importantly, listen to your body: Playing pickleball when fatigued does not lead anywhere good…you’ll just rack up losses and, worse yet, injuries.
Have any tips on how to rest your body between pickleball matches? Please share in the comments section.