No matter what type of workouts you do, rest days (or active recovery days) are a must! The body needs time to rest and reset before another major workout occurs.
That rest day does have to be spent as a couch potato though! Rest days can include active recovery, which can be beneficial in maintaining and gaining across your various types of workouts.
What Is Active Recovery?
Well, pretty simply put, active recovery is a little different for everyone. It is essentially an easier workout compared to your regular routine. So for instance if you run long distances, your active recovery day may include a shorter less demanding jog.
The real point is that the active recovery exercise is simply less intense than your other workouts.
Why should you add active recovery to your routine?
Well for some people, working out every day has major mental health gains. Getting the body moving for most people will just feel good. Plus, moving on a daily basis allows you the chance to burn a few extra calories.
What Can I Do On Active Recovery Days?
Here are 5 different active recovery options that you can do.
No matter what type of workouts you do, foam rolling can be your best friend when it comes to active recovery. Foam rolling allows you to massage your muscles and helps to stop stiffness and ease soreness after an intense workout schedule. Not only that, foam rolling will help you to identify the areas in your body that may be a little tighter or that may need a bit of a break due to overuse.
Heading to a yoga class or taking the time to do a handful of stretches can be a great way to increase your range of motions. Yoga (or stretching) is an excellent source of active recovery. And yoga is excellent way to relieve stress!
You guys know I love walking! Taking a walk is not only great for your mental health, it is a wonderful way to spend time on your “rest” days. Walking burns calories and can help to get you outside and moving around during a normal rest day.
Much like walking, hiking burns major calories. Getting outdoors and doing something fun makes it feel like it’s not a workout! Hiking is a great way to get your heart rate up without overexerting yourself. And just remember that you can stop for a break whenever you need to :)
A well-paced bike ride can be an excellent way to recover from a long week of workouts. The gentle impact will help to keep your joints safe while the cardio benefits do their best work.
Be mindful that if you head to a spin class that requires a lot of choreography, this may become intense and take you out of your active recovery zone and put too much stress on your body!
Try your best to be mindful of how you feel after your active recovery workouts. If your body feels worse that it did before you started, you may have done too much.
It is important to remember that your body won’t be in it’s best shape if you over train and that eating a healthy well-balanced diet will majorly contribute to how you look and feel. Your body will tell you how it feels if you are willing to listen, and overtraining will surely lead to burn out.
So include active recovery into your workout routine if it makes sense for you and don’t feel badly if you do take a day to truly rest. Your body and mind will thank you for it!