I don’t just love training to keeping my body strong and healthy, I crave it! But I know the importance of allowing both my body and my mind days off so I can properly recover and unwind.
Sometimes I need a complete rest day, where my mind and body gets a break and I go out with the girls, or see a movie, or basically do anything that isn’t strenuous physically or mentally.
But for all the other times, when I have been focusing my training on a particular muscle group and I know I need to rest it, but I still feel like being active, I schedule an active recovery day.
Active recovery not only allows my body to recover from any intense training I have been doing, it actually supports the recovery process. It does this by stimulating blood flow into the muscles that are recovering which works to reduce residual muscle fatigue.
Active recovery is basically any form of exercise performed in a relaxed manner of up to 40-60% of your maximum heart rate.That being said, there are some forms of active recovery that are not only perfect for reducing residual muscle fatigue, but can also be a really enjoyable way to spend your time. Power walking, slow jogging, gentle cycling and relaxed swimming are all perfect examples of ways you can actively recover, just as long as you don’t push yourself longer than 30-40 minutes and you don’t feel exhausted afterwards.
Remember if you are really exhausted, take the time to rest physically and mentally, or go for a light walk. For all other times, consider rostering in some active recovery days to help your muscles recover!