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Tips for Active Recovery

By Sara Butler

Active recovery may seem like a bit of an oxymoron. When you’re in recovery mode that implies that you’re resting or taking time off. It’s important to understand that recovery and activity aren’t mutually exclusive. Daily movement and exercise are important and there are things you can do that make your rest days active without going overboard. Here are a few ideas to help you find ways to actively recover.

Active Recovery: What is it?

Active recovery basically means that the workouts you do on your rest days are easier than your normal workouts. It’s less intense and often doesn’t last as long as a normal workout. A great example is if you’re training for a half marathon, you may swim or walk on your rest days instead of run. As a general rule, active recovery exercise should leave you feeling better after you’re done than when you started.

Ideas for Active Recovery

There are several forms of active recovery that match well with your fitness program and are convenient. These exercises carry a low risk of injury, too. You should try:

  • Walking – It’s a simple activity that can have a lot of benefits. It helps you to burn calories and gets you outside to enjoy the sunshine and increase feelings of well-being. How far you walk should be based on the current level of fitness you’re at as well as your training schedule.
  • Lifting light weights – It can be restorative to do a weightlifting exercise that made you sore but with lighter weights. You should use a weight below 30 percent of your usual weight and do one less set.
  • Hiking – Just like walking, hiking can torch calories on your rest days. You have to perform this activity based on your current fitness level. Remember, you should feel better after finishing and not worse, or you’re likely doing more harm than good.
  • Swimming – Swimming is a great all-around exercise. It engages the muscles and cardiovascular system without putting more stress on your joints.
  • Yoga – Stretching is always a good idea because flexibility is important to your overall fitness. Yoga takes your body through different ranges of motion and can help your muscles recover from intense workouts.

When it comes to active recovery, be smart. If you do what you need to do, then it can make your performance during regular exercise even better.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Rowlett, Tex.

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