If you are a regular reader of our blog, you know that proper recovery is a key part of optimal athletic performance. This doesn’t just mean sleeping 8 hours every night; it means allocating yourself rest days to ensure your body fully recovers in between workouts.
Your rest days don’t have to be spent on the couch, though. In fact, it’s best if they aren’t. Participating in some form of light exercise, or “active recovery”, can help alleviate muscle soreness by stimulating blood flow and improving circulation.
If you want to make the most out of your rest days, active recovery is highly recommended. Active recovery shouldn’t be strenuous, just enough to make you get up and get moving. Here some ideas for light exercise you can do on your next day off from the gym:
• Take a hike. Hiking (or even a casual walk around the block) doesn’t just burn calories, it is a great excuse to go outside. Keep it leisurely though; it’s a rest day after all.
• Get your yoga on. Yoga can improve your core strength, balance, and flexibility, not to mention all of the mental health benefits it provides.
• Go for a swim. The weightlessness of swimming makes it a great low-stress activity for your body. It is also a good workout for your entire muscular and cardiovascular systems.
• Roll out. Foam rollers essentially allow you to give yourself a massage with minimal effort. A foam roller breaks down the lactic acid buildup in your muscles, helping to alleviate soreness and promote faster recovery.
• Ride a bike. Another form of low-impact exercise that gets the blood flowing and allows you to be outdoors.
• Play sports. Sports aren’t just a great form of active recovery, they are downright fun! Just make sure to monitor your intensity. Remember, you want to feel better afterward.
Get your daily dose of sports at Insports Centers in Trumbull, Connecticut. As Fairfield County’s premier indoor sports facility, we have a variety of leagues, tournaments, and open play hours all year long. Visit our website to see a list of upcoming events.