How many days do you work out in a week? (You can be honest with yourself) 2…3…4…5…? Let’s talk about what you’re doing on those days that you aren’t working out, because most of us aren’t working out 7 of 7 days in the week and quite honestly shouldn’t be! Those days off aren’t meant for sitting on the couch all day though. The best “rest” day doesn’t include binge watching a full season of your favorite show on Netflix while only getting up to use the bathroom or grab a snack. The best type of rest day is Active Rest and it has many benefits.
When you work out, you are working the muscles in the body in a way that they need some time to recover, especially after those really heavy tough workouts! An active rest day is taking a rest from the normal workout intensity that you are used to, while still doing a lighter workout that is different from what you usually do. It stimulates the recovery process without putting undue stress on the body parts that just finished doing a lot of work! Active rest can apply to anyone and is great for muscle building goals as well as weight loss goals. Using rest days as an active rest day helps to quicken muscle recovery and will help in making you feel stronger, faster, and more prepared for your next workout, as well as lessening soreness and stiffness.
Some forms of active rest can include, but are not limited to, cardio, brisk walking, biking, swimming, and stretching. Other forms can even include playing with family, house work, yard work, etc. Use your imagination! A rest day from working out does not mean a rest day from life, no matter how tired/sore you might be! So, before you sit on the couch for a couple hours because you have the day off from working out, do something that will put your body and mind in to the position to feel good and prepared for that next workout.