Rest Vs. Active Rest
No, taking a rest day doesn’t mean you should be sitting on the couch eating chips, chocolate or cookies all day long. This, as you might imagine, won’t do you much good and could destroy all your progress from the week prior.
Instead, an active rest day is meant to be a light or easy day where you’re still moving, but not at the intensity level you normally move.
According to Athlete’s Edge, active rest:
“Involves performing light exercises (often swimming or cycling) that stimulate the recovery process without imposing undue stress on the injured body part.”
Taking an active rest day will quicken your recovery, making you feel stronger and faster when you’re back in workout-mode—as long as you don’t overdo it.
Plus, it’ll help you feel less sore and stiff after an extra tough workout day.
The perfect active rest day is indoor cycling at Inner Fit or a Yoga class. Choosing to not doing anything active is counterproductive to your training.
We live in a time where people rarely go for a walk longer than 30 minutes and the rest of our time is spent on the phones or watching Netflix or sitting around with friends. We simply need to move a minimum of 10,000 steps a day, period, or engage in one hour of exercise daily to simply be healthy as a baseline.
And I hate to be the one to break it to you folks, but we are not hard core athlete training 4-6 hours a day to deserve a “do nothing” rest day. Activity is very important for our daily health both emotionally and physically.
Wake up, kick off your “active rest day” with a cycle class on a Sunday morning versus “taking a rest day” and make it an awesome day. Cycling wakes up your mind by activating your brain, creates fluidity in you fascia and prevents injuries.
If you can’t make a morning class the odd time, make sure you get outside for a power walk as your active rest activity.
Let’s rethink the way we use the words “rest day” as they have a powerful affect on how our day unfolds.