Are rest days important? What should I do when I’m not training or in class?
We recommend active recovery days at least once a week to help your body recover from workouts. It’s important to know that when you workout, your muscles are actually broken down. They start to rebuild 24-48 hours after training. That is why it’s not beneficial to work the same muscles every day; you need to give them a chance to rebuild.
Even if you are not working the same muscle groups every day, you still need to give your whole body a chance to recover. This is where active recovery (or rest days) comes in.
Plan your recovery days ahead of time so you stay on track. If it helps, add in your recovery during your normal workout time so you don’t “mess” with your routine.
So what exactly is active recovery?
It is any gentle movement designed to help your muscles heal after training.
When you exercise (aka intentionally move your body), you increase blood flow to your muscles. Which, in turn, helps speed up recovery. Of course, there is a trick! You want to be active enough to increase blood flow, but not so vigorous that you don’t allow your muscles to heal.
So, now that you know WHAT active recovery is, what types of things can you do?
We’ve all been there; the day after (or two days) an hard day at the gym and your muscles are SCREAMING and are incredibly tight. One of the best things you can do in this situation is to work on your mobility and flexibility. Dynamic stretching and mobility work help prepare your body for continued training and help keep you injury free!
Need help figuring out the right mobility for you? Coach Dave is here for you!
- Fun Activities
Our bodies are designed to move - not be sedentary. And we love to have fun too. So why not combine the two?
- Go for a bike ride or walk with your kids
- Go for a swim
- Dance in your kitchen while meal prepping
It really doesn’t matter what you’re doing as long as you are having fun and moving your body!
- Yoga or Pilates
Training makes us stronger but it can also make us sore (truth!) and tighten our muscles. But yoga and pilates? They are designed to help aid in recovery by lengthening muscles and tendons. An added benefit is that they also help with flexibility and core strength.
Did you know that we offer Pilates classes at Peak Performance? True story!
- Foam Roll
There are certain things that seem like they are designed by our enemies and the foam roller definitely falls into that category. However, it has it’s benefits too.
The foam roller works to massage the tissue (or fascia), the trick is to find the spots that REALLY hurt when you roll over them.
This is your beginner’s guide to rest days and active recovery. We would love to hear from you if you have any questions or want any other information.