When exercising, it’s imperative to give our muscles and body a break to recuperate from the stress of working out. While resting, fitting in cardio, weightlifting or resistance training to your workout plan, a recovery plan should also be included.
Rest days are not the same as recovery days
Simply put, rest days are different from recovery days. A rest day means allowing your body to fully rest, negating strenuous exercise, especially on the muscle groups you’ve been exercising. This could mean simply not exercising that day, while still maintaining a healthy diet.
This may sound counterintuitive to include in a workout plan, but resting your body every third day allows your physical and mental wellness time to rejuvenate.
Adding a rest day also limits factors that lead to overuse injuries.
The meaning of recovery
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) improve is through active recovery.
Active recovery focuses on completing an exercise at a low intensity, but high enough to increase blood flow and enhance the clearance of enzymes responsible for muscle damage and residual fatigue. Therefore, active recovery plays a huge role in minimizing the symptoms of muscle soreness.
Exercises for active recovery
Cardio exercises like swimming, hiking, rowing, etc., are great ways to incorporate active recovery into your wellness routine when completing such exercises at about 60-70% of your usual effort. This is a pace that won’t put too much stress on your body while also allowing for benefits, including improvements to your mobility, endurance and mental health.
You can also use this time to learn a new exercise or skill like jump rope, rollerblading or other activities where you’re less concerned with results and just trying to add a new routine to your repertoire.
Other ways to aid recovery
Maintain a healthy diet, even on your rest or recovery days (read more in this article from The Mayo Clinic). Eating well can be a huge benefit to your workout. This includes eating a light breakfast an hour before morning exercise, snacking smart during the day and eating a meal of proteins and carbohydrates within two hours after your workout.
And don’t forget the water! Before, during, and after your workouts, especially on your rest and recovery days.
Method Sports & Fitness is focused on fitness and well-being. But we keep in mind that low-intensity exercise days (you can do them on your own or at our place!). Utilizing our recovery technology, or taking a day off are also important! Our bodies need to recover, but that doesn’t mean being completely inactive. Taking care of your body will help you reach your fitness goals – and we are here to help. Stop in to say hello and learn more about our fitness approach and recovery technology – or schedule an evaluation today. Gain the Method Edge.