How To Take An Active Rest Day!
You work out as hard as you can four or five days a week, making sure to include all the good stuff intervals, kettlebell workouts, squats, pull ups, press ups, dead lifts, and other good-for-you whole body exercises.
Basically you're pretty active.
But what do you do on your off days.
Why You Shouldn't Train Every Day
As tempting as it may be to train every day of the week (ok, maybe not for everyone), it's extremely important that you take at least 1 - 2 days off strenuous training a week.
One of 'THE' most important and yet overlooked aspects of any exercise or training programme is the rest and recovery phase..
Unfortunately many exercisers neglect rest days as it often leaves them thinking they should be training as they feel guilty for not doing something, when in actual fact while you are resting from training, physiologically your body is grasping this opportunity to repair itself to become stronger in preparation for the next bout of training stress placed upon it.
Let me explain the process…..
You see while you exercise, your muscles work to meet the demands placed upon them. So while you make your muscles scream and the sweat pours down your forehead muscles deplete their stores of energy (AKA as muscle glycogen) and start to become fatigued.
The muscle glycogen is what fuels the muscle contractions that cause muscle movement, and it is from these contractions that muscles experience small micro tears, which is why after training you may suffer from muscle soreness AKA DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)
The recovery process begins when you have finished your training session.
The muscle glycogen stores get replenished, and the body starts the process of rebuilding and repairing those tiny muscle tears.
So time is required for this repair process as the body rebuilds the muscle to become stronger than it previously was. This is how strength training, or any type of exercise training, works.
Muscle gets broken down to rebuild, recruit more muscle fibres and become stronger, this is a good thing by the way, because once they repair you'll be stronger and fitter than you were before.
Bottom Line: Your muscles need to repair.
An active rest day is mean't to be a light or easy day where you're still moving, but not at the intensity you normally move.
Taking an active rest day will speed up your recovery, making you feel stronger and faster when you're back in workout-mode.
So what exactly does it mean to take an active rest day?
There are many ways you can spend your active rest day, but here are are a few suggestions:
- Go for a hike
- Swim (swimming really helps soreness)
- Go for a bike ride
- Do some yoga
- Go for a light jog
- Run around with your dog/kids
- Play a sport (you'll want to be careful here, if you go to hard you might not get to count is as a rest day)
- Go for a walk outdoors
- Do some light skipping or bodyweight exercises
So if you are putting in hard demanding training sessions then rest is essential to implement these improvements.
Don't go on a guilt trip because you're not doing anything.
Even athletes rest!!
I hope that explains a few things.
Coach @ KEBOfit
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