Active Recovery involves performing low-intensity exercise following a strenuous workout. Examples include walking, swimming and cycling.
Active recovery typically has greater efficacy than inactivity, resting or being sedentary. It keeps your blood flowing and helps muscles recover and rebuild post your intensive physical activity.
Benefits of Active Recovery
Active Recovery may help you recover faster after a difficult workout. Benefits often felt.
- Increases blood flow
- Keeps muscles flexible
- Reduces soreness
- Reduced lactic acid build-up in muscles
- Reinforced mental strength
Make sure one in seven days is an Active Recovery day.
Working out every day is a fast way to injure yourself. You have to let your body recover, particularly if you are beginning to do more exercise than you’ve done before. An Active Recovery day should include different activity from your usual workout or exercise routine. Critically on an Active Recovery day you must not be working at a maximum effort. Go slow and do not push yourself too hard. Great Active Recovery exercises include:
Walking is one of the best forms of Active Recovery. If you like running, you can also go for a slow jog, but must not push yourself too hard. Taking a stroll at a leisurely pace will enhance blood flow and help with recovery.
Even just a few minutes of walking the day after a tough workout is enough to promote circulation and help reduce stiffness and soreness. Why not park a couple of blocks further away than you would normally and walk the extra way? Learn more about how you can walk your way to better health.
Swimming is a low-impact exercise that is easy on your joints and muscles. Studies have shown that Active Recovery sessions in the pool ensure a better exercise performance the next day. Researchers believe that the water helps to reduce inflammation.
Practicing Tai-chi can be beneficial for active recovery. Both help stretch sore muscles and increase flexibility. It can also reduce stress and inflammation. Learn more about Tai-chi here.
Cycling at a leisurely pace is an excellent way to get in an Active Recovery. Again it is low-impact and doesn’t put pressure on your joints. Read more about how pushing the pedals can help you lose the weight.
It is all about taking it easy.
Active Recovery exercises are generally considered safe, but remember, this is not the time to push yourself. The objective is to give your body the chance it needs to rest.
If you experience any pain or suspect you have an injury, STOP and go see your GP. A doctor or a physical therapist may also recommend forms of Active Recovery including stretches, swimming, or cycling as you recover from an injury.
You will feel it the next day.
You should find that you feel less tight, sore, and even have more energy to exercise after a good Active Recovery day.