There’s no worse worse words for passionate athletes to hear than “no exercise.” Maybe you are recovering from an injury or are too sore to put in the same level of workout for the day. Don’t try to power through an injury or soreness for risk of further harm. Instead, take active measures to heal up and rest overworked muscles with these 4 exercises for active recovery.
Walking is a great low-impact way to take a physical and mental break from your usual workout routine. Take your dogs for a walk in a park you’ve never been to. Find a great spot to hike with friends. Taking a stroll with your friends on a new hiking trail or park is a great way to mentally and physically refresh yourself while you take a personal day.
Stationary cycling offers a good way to get your heart rate up on a rest day. Maybe you’ve got a netflix cue that needs some love. Start pedaling away while you catch up on a phone call, missed episodes or anything you need to do while staying active at the same time.
Swimming allows you to remain weightless in water and give your joints a rest. This way, you’ll be able to work out the stiffness in your muscles and improve your flexibility while working out. The rhythm of swimming has a unique meditative quality that also works to rest your mind.
Yoga works to greatly improve your joints and flexibility and the meditative practice of yoga can give you huge mental boost. If you are overworking yourself at the gym or just need a mental break from your regular routine, quieting your thoughts and focusing on meditation will have you feeling refreshed when you resume training.
Most importantly, finish the workout feeling better than you started. You can overwork yourself on a rest day doing any of these activities, so don’t give into the temptation to overdo it. The purpose of active recovery is to rest your body while still staying active in low-impact exercise.