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In addition to giving your muscles a rest, active recovery also provides a wealth of other advantages. For example, studies show this type of recovery may help clear blood lactate in the body, which means you could reduce post-workout soreness and fatigue, while also prepping your muscles for better endurance. Your body needs rest to recover and get stronger from hard workouts. Rest and active recovery (including gentle cross-training) are both tools we can use to achieve our fitness goals. A rest day.
“You should place more emphasis on sleep during rest days,” says Thieme. “It’s such an important part of the recovery process. It helps muscles repair, recover, and grow stronger.” Our experts recommend getting more than seven hours of shut-eye per night. Active Recovery. Then there are “active recovery” days. On these days, Thieme explains, “You remain active but use less intensity than you.
While both are good for optimal recovery, it’s often misunderstood what’s the difference and when to use a rest day versus an active recovery. Here’s the deal, your body needs rest to recover and gain strength from a hard workout or intense game. Both rest and active recovery are both tools you can use to reach your athletic goals. Light weights or whole body vibration can be good ideas for active recovery days. Under most circumstances, active recovery is better than passive rest, however if you’re injured and you accuse pain whenever you attempt to do a complex movement or to lift a dumbbell or do some cardio exercises, it’s better to opt for passive rest, and to stick with very light forms of physical activity, like walking.
Recovery involves chemical and hormonal balance, nervous system repair, mental state and more. There are different factors such as sleep, diet and hydration that can all be beneficial, but one of the most effective methods of helping the body (and mind) recover is through active recovery. Well, it depends on what you did on your two active days.
If your active days included high intensity workouts, your rest day should be a full rest day. If your active days included low or moderate intensity workouts, you should consider an active recovery day that includes yoga, playing a sport or a taking a longer walk. Now for recovery. The day after some spirited sport play or a tough workout, you may rise feeling sluggish and is if your limbs are made of concrete. This is never a good feeling.
But you’ll notice that after you’ve been up and moving for a few minutes, you’re feeling a bit better. Active recovery is often considered more beneficial than inactivity, resting completely, or sitting. It can keep blood flowing and help muscles recover and rebuild from intense physical activity. In conclusion, a good way to look at rest days, is to treat them like you would the rests between intervals – make the most out of them.
If you are planning an active recovery session, approach it deliberately and with a plan; this will allow you to continue hitting your following training sessions with the appropriate intensity and desired stimulus, resulting in extra fitness!
List of related literature:
|from Boundless: Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize Your Body & Defy Aging|
|from Developing Endurance|
|from Smarter Workouts: The Science of Exercise Made Simple|
|from Fast After 50: How to Race Strong for the Rest of Your Life|
|from Advanced Marathoning|
|from The Active Female: Health Issues Throughout the Lifespan|
|from Resurrection After Rape: A Guide to Transforming from Victim to Survivor|
|from Optimizing Strength Training: Designing Nonlinear Periodization Workouts|
|from The Time-Crunched Cyclist: Race-Winning Fitness in 6 Hours a Week, 3rd Ed.|
|from Athletic Body in Balance|