People looking to improve their athletic performance may tend to over-do it sometimes. But, if you constantly do intense exercises, you risk injuries and burnout. On the other hand, it’s not a good idea to swing between intense workout days and couch potato days. This is where “active rest days” come in.

In this blog post, I’ll teach you what to do during an active rest day.

Active Rest Day Definition

An active rest day is a key part of a balanced workout routine. They are especially useful for those who do a lot of high intensity workouts, such as athletes.

The idea is that you give your body time to recover without stopping movement altogether. During a complete rest day, you don’t move at all. But during an active rest day, you do low-intensity activities.

The main goal of an active rest day is to enhance muscle recovery and circulation by keeping the blood flowing. This helps to reduce the buildup of lactic acid, which contributes to muscle soreness and fatigue. Ideally, you should incorporate one active rest day per week into your routine. 

Activities for an Active Rest Day

Here are some activities to do on an active rest day:

  • Light cardio. Go on a walk, a slow jog, or take a relaxed bike ride. The key is to keep the intensity low enough that you can comfortably carry on a conversation.
  • Yoga. This is a great way to improve flexibility and core strength and focus on breathing and relaxation at the same time.
  • Swimming. Water supports the body and gives you natural resistance. This makes it a great low-impact activity for an active recovery day.
  • Tai Chi. Known for its gentle, flowing movements, Tai Chi helps maintain balance, flexibility, and calmness.
  • Foam rolling. Using a foam roller on an active recovery day helps reduce muscle tightness and increase blood flow.
  • Gentle stretching. This helps improve flexibility and relieves muscle stiffness. Focus on major muscle groups and hold the stretches longer than you normally would.
  • Leisure activities. Light physical activities like gardening, playing with your pets, or a calm hike is also active rest.

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