Whether you are creating a new habit of daily exercise or you're a professional athlete, rest days are extremely important! Especially active rest days!
Active rest allows your body to move in a different manner than you normally train. These days provide the mental and physical break your body desperately needs and yet maintain your focus and help your muscles recover. Because repetative movements can cause chronic injuries over time, incorporating days to rest can help your body naturally heal itself. Active rest has the added benefit of facilitating circulation and maintaining cardiovascular endurance.
So what exactly is active rest? Well, it encompasses a variety of activities! From swimming, hiking, walking, easy jogs, light resistance band exercises, thai chi, yoga, foam rolling and even roller blading! Almost anything which is done at low-level exertion can be considered active rest. **Keep in mind** this applies to off-season athletes! In-season (and pre-season) athletes should consult their strength coaches and athletic trainers for the best strategy to prepare their body for competition. Generally, rest days for in-season athletes are best spent with recovery specific programs like myofascial release and contrast bathing, along with, specific methods for active rest. Stay tuned for a post on recovery!
What is your favorite active rest activity?
Which are you most excited to plan on your next rest day?
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