Active rest is also referred to as active recovery. It refers to the process of improving your body and recovering during a workout. Active rest not only helps you regain lost energy but also burn excess calories effectively. There are different types of activities that you can engage in to achieve active rest. But, your choice is mainly determined by your budget, preference and the type of work out you prefer.
For instance, if you want to take active rest days, some of the activities include:
- Taking a walk
- Walk or play with your dogs
- Go for an easy swim
- Hike with friends or family
- Take an easy bike ride
- Light stretching or foam rolling
- Fun activity or sport
Examples of Active Rest
This is the main activity you should undertake when you are not working out. Normally, most people are poor with flexibility because of hamstrings, locked hips and tight muscles. Ergo, stretching out will help you relax and be more flexible. Benching a lot of weight is good but if your body gets stiff and tight, or you start developing back problems, you will eventually have health problems. You should consider stretching in between your training exercises especially if you are in a gym.
Some of the tips you can use include:
- Stretch targeted muscles – You should stretch certain muscles based on the exercises you plan to do. For instance, if you are doing a set of bench, stretching your upper chest, lats, and shoulders should help with both injury prevention and soreness related issues.
- Stretch tight muscles – Tight hamstrings and hips are common but stretching these muscles helps to alleviate muscle soreness and fatigue. However, you need to use stretches that target these specific muscles.
- Relax – While stretching, take deep breaths to relax and improve how you feel. Relaxing improves your heart rate, helps you think rationally and regain lost energy.
While exercising, you should drink ½ to 1 cup of water for homeostasis. However, your water intake is determined by the amount of water you’ve lost through perspiration, your body size, and workout intensity.
3. Fine Tuning Form
Whether you are a seasoned lifter or a beginner, you should consider fine-tuning your form as a means of active rest. The main objective of proper form is injury prevention. However, it also helps to build more muscle and accommodate for imbalances and overcompensation of certain muscles.
Other Active Rest Activities
Some of the activities you can also engage in are:
- Tai chi
- Light resistance training
- Steady-state cycling
- Steady-state walking or running
- Roller boarding
Active rest is a guaranteed way of getting fit, living a healthy life and getting the best out of your workouts. But, thorough testing is needed to determine the right activities for YOU.
Lastly, seeking help from a professional or a trainer is recommended if you don’t know anything about active rest.