Active recovery days: 5 ideas for rest day activities

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active recovery workout activities
Photo by Alexy Almond from Pexels

Being in good health is one of the most important parts of life, especially as you age. While supplemental health insurance can help you deal with the financial costs relating to health challenges, it’s best for you to be proactive with your health, not reactive. That is why it is so important to stay fit and active. Ideally you will regularly do an active recovery day workout, and these five rest day activities are ones to inspire you.

The benefits of exercise, as well as taking a rest day

Working out and exercising can not only provide you with a healthier lifestyle and physical benefits, but it can also help with your mental health. Most people aim to exercise at least a couple of times a week if possible.

Of course, if you plan on working out hard and pushing yourself, you will need some days to recover. Sure, nothing feels quite like spending all day relaxing on one of the cooling mattresses out there, but instead of every day being a passive recovery day, why not try active recovery from time to time?

What is active recovery?

Active recovery is all about using your rest days intelligently. Instead of being completely inactive all day, you will perform very low-intensity exercises or activities. This still gives your body a break, without completely taking the day off and achieving nothing physically.

While resting the muscles is better than going right back to a hard workout, some light active recovery can be great for your body and recovery. It keeps the blood flowing and helps maintain a good routine, keeps muscles flexible, and can help you recover quicker.

Of course, if you are hurt, injured or very sore, be careful with active recovery and know your limits. It also doesn’t need to be done every single rest day, only when you feel up to it.

Now that you know a little about what active recovery is, what sorts of activities are good to do on rest days?

5 active recovery day workout ideas:

1. Yoga

One of the best active recovery day activities you can possibly do on your rest day is yoga. It can help to stretch out your muscles, build your flexibility, and help your balance.

Of course, keep the poses relatively simple if you are a little sore. Not only that, but yoga is great for releasing stress and relaxing your body.

2. Walking

Going for a nice and calm walk can also be a nice activity on your rest days. This can help with your blood flow, and help your recovery go as planned.

Even if this is only a short walk of a couple of minutes, it can still have some positive benefits when it comes to your recovery. If you’re up for it, a light jog can also be a great thing to do on your day off from heavy lifting or exercise.

3. Swimming on active recovery days

When it comes to exercises that have a low impact on your body but can be incredibly beneficial for your health, swimming is at or near the top of that list. It is very easy on all of your sore joints and muscles.

Swimming also provides a great full-body workout. Some believe that the water can also help reduce inflammation if that is something you struggle with.

4. Bike ride

Similar to swimming, going for a bike ride is great for your sore muscles and joints. It puts no pressure on them in most cases, and is generally quite good for your cardiovascular health.

This activity is especially good for active recovery days as it helps your lower body stay flexible and get more blood circulating to your legs. While you can take your bike out around paths by your home, you can also use a stationary bike in your home or at the gym. Another option is to get an air bike.

5. Foam roller (or similar)

While going out and doing activities on your day off is great, you can also stay inside your home and do some activities to contribute to your recovery. One of the best to try is using a foam roller on your sore muscles.

These handy little gadgets can help with your range of motion. They can get rid of that “tight” feeling in your muscles and help with blood flow. In addition to a foam roller, you can also use a tennis ball, some type of massage stick, or anything that provides relief and release.

Active recovery day workouts as part of a healthy lifestyle

Whether you decide to swim, go for a walk, do yoga, or something else, active recovery can be very beneficial. It can speed up the overall recovery process and help you keep on track with a great workout routine.

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