Activities to Make the Most of an Active Rest Day
Active Recovery is an important part of any athlete’s program. As a competitor, it can be hard to slow down or take a day off once you get in a rhythm, but it is important to make sure you are optimizing your rest days. This will improve your training and lessen the chances of injury during the season. All of the best athletes know that rest days are just as important, if not more important, to staying healthy and keeping your body strong. Here are some tips to help you break a sweat on days you’d rather get in the gym than sit on the couch.
Active recovery days feature low intensity workouts to increase heart rate and get blood pumping. These low intensity workouts help repair damaged or fatigued muscles and tissues, which can improve recovery and can flush lactic acid out of muscles. Here are our top 5 active recovery methods:
Yoga is a great way to increase flexibility, while improving body control. Breathing techniques are an important part of yoga that can help us in all facets of our lives.
Hiking is a great way to get outside and check out some of the natural beauty. The uneven terrain and fresh air are a great way to spend time in the outdoors and break up time in the gym, on the field, or on the track. Hiking can be a much-needed mental break to help you push yourself more effectively and efficiently when it’s time to train hard.
Using a Foam Roller/Lacrosse Ball
Myofascial release is an important way to increase range of motion and reduce soreness. The foam roller is loved by all, but next time try a lacrosse ball on your tough knots.
Our core is used for every movement that we make. It connects our body together so keeping these muscles strong and healthy is an important way to keep us active and pain free! Doing core exercises on off days is an excellent way to keep your body moving and get a sweat going.
This low impact way to move while resting your joints is perfect for an active recovery day. The pounding that running puts on knees, ankles, and backs can take a real toll on anyone’s workout. Swimming allows us to stretch, relax, and get our blood pumping.
While all of these things can be a great way to get out and move on an off day, taking a day to do nothing is another important way for your body to heal itself. Remember, you break your muscles down during a workout, but you get stronger on your rest days! Use them wisely.