Do you like taking long walks on the beach? Or spending time in nature? How about a leisurely bike ride on a sunny day?
If so, then you might be interested in active recovery.
What is active recovery, you ask? Great question! An active recovery is a form of rest that helps the body recover from strenuous exercise.
Unlike passive recovery (i.e., sitting around all day), which does nothing to improve your fitness level, active recovery gets your heart rate up but doesn't wear you out.
Think of it as the best of both worlds - resting and recuperating while also getting some physical activity.
Curious to learn more? Read on as we unveil the benefits of active recovery, and tell you our 3 favorite ways to use it!
Active Recovery VS Passive Recovery
In the world of exercise and fitness, there is a lot of discussion about the relative merits of active recovery vs. passive recovery.
On the one hand, many believe that active recovery is more effective in helping to promote muscle growth and increase endurance.
This is because it involves actively engaging the heart and skeletal muscles in low-intensity activities like light jogging or cycling, which keeps the metabolism in the previously worked muscle groups, high.
On the other hand, passive recovery typically involves simply resting or performing light stretching exercises, and some experts argue that this type of rest allows the body to recover more fully from intense physical activity.
Ultimately, it seems that both types of recovery are valuable for different reasons.
As such, it may be best for athletes to incorporate both active and passive recovery methods into their normal exercise routine.
Why Active Recovery?
In our book, we are proponents of active recovery. We personally believe that staying active and keeping the blood flowing is one of the best ways to keep the body sharp, energized, and on the road to full recovery, before the next all-out session.
Now let’s have a look at our 3 most favorite low-intensity means of active recovery!
When it comes to active recovery, few methods are as effective and convenient as walking.
Not only does this form of exercise promote blood circulation, strengthen the heart, and improve lung function, but it can also be done almost anywhere and at any time.
Whether you need a break between workouts or just want to take a quick stroll on your lunch break, taking a walk is an easy way to stay engaged with your body and give yourself some much-needed downtime.
And by incorporating a few different modalities into your routines, such as incline walking and hiking, you can further enhance its effects.
So if you're looking for a low-impact way to stay healthy, active recovery through walking should be at the top of your list!
When it comes to active recovery, stretching is one of the best options out there.
Stretching has many benefits, both physically and mentally, that make it worth incorporating into your daily routine.
For one thing, stretching can improve blood circulation throughout the body.
By gently increasing your heart rate and allowing fresh oxygenated blood to flow to your muscles, stretching helps flush the muscles, relax their fibers and slightly boost your recovery.
In addition, stretching can also have a relaxing effect on the mind.
Whether you're doing a short series of stretches in the morning or taking a few minutes at the end of the day to loosen up your muscles and let go of tension, these simple movements can help de-stress and promote overall well-being.
So why not give stretching a try? With so many benefits, it's sure to be an effective way to actively recover from strenuous activities and keep your body feeling its best.
Manual Therapy & Massages
When it comes to recovering from a grueling workout or training session in the gym, there are many different methods that athletes can use to help speed up the process.
Some people rely on gentle stretching or light cardio work, while others choose to turn to manual therapy or sports massages.
These specialized techniques have been shown to reduce muscle tension and promote improved circulation, both of which are essential for optimal recovery.
They can also help to alleviate pain and discomfort caused by injuries or overuse, allowing athletes to get back in the game sooner rather than later.
Ultimately, though there are many options available, manual therapy and sports massages are two of the most effective ways of recovering after a strenuous workout and getting back on track quickly.
Whether you're an elite athlete or someone who simply wants to stay active, incorporating massage/manual therapy sessions could be just what you need for better results.
So, the next time you’re feeling guilty about taking a day off or slacking on your workout routine, remember that recovery is just as important as the work itself.
But "rest" doesn't necessarily mean ditching all the healthy habits.
It may just mean decreasing the intensity slightly but still getting the heart rate up!
What's your take on active recovery? Drop a comment and let's discuss!