Let’s talk active recovery – something that many of us forget about. This is because higher intensity workouts are often thought to give us better and faster results. But, here’s the thing. Our bodies need active recovery, and it could actually transform your fitness results.
Read on to learn about what it is. We’ll share how often you should be doing it, and the best forms to fit into your current fitness routine.
What is Active Recovery?
Simply put, active recovery is when you choose low-intensity exercise after going heavy on the workouts. It could be something as simple as a brisk walk cool down after a run, or a quick yoga practice to stretch out sore muscles.
The point is to allow your body to recover a bit but to also engage and stretch out those muscles you’ve been using in your FitOn workouts all week.
What Are the Benefits?
There are tons of reasons we all should be doing active recovery.
Some of the benefits include:
- It’s a great way to prevent all the pain associated with lactic acid build-up.
- Combat fatigue and boost your overall mood by doing less intense activity like yoga or Pilates.
- Cool inflammation by boosting blood flow to your tired muscles and joints.
- Support exercise endurance by allowing your body to rest without being completely still and not doing any form of movement.
- Active recovery is a great way to beat stress. You can do a relaxing, restorative FitOn yoga practice to promote muscle recovery and bring some calm into your life.
How Often Should You Do It?
Most people think of active recovery as their “rest day”. But, we’re about to debunk the myth that a once-a-week active recovery day is enough.
Get this – we should actually be doing it after every intense workout. Now, this doesn’t have to take a half-hour every single time. Even a 15-minute yoga or stretch cool-down is extremely beneficial.
The length of time is really going to depend on your fitness level. For example, if you’re a long-distance runner, active recovery may look like 30 minutes of brisk walking. If you’re doing a quick 20-minute FitOn HIIT or cardio workout, a 10-minute stretch will suffice.
Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still have a day where all you do is active recovery. You can still pick one day where you don’t go all out, and stick to more relaxing low-impact exercise to help your body recover while still boosting strength.
Read on to find out about our top ways to get some active recovery into your fitness routine.
The Best Kinds of Active Recovery
- Yoga: Yoga is the perfect way to wind down a workout or max out on your designated active recovery day. It helps boost flexibility, reduces stress, and supports blood flow to your muscles and joints.
- Pilates: Pilates can be a tad more intense than yoga, depending on how hardcore you are about your Pilates workout. But a gentle Pilates workout is a great way to strengthen, tone, and improve flexibility without being hard on your muscles and joints.
- Stretching: A good stretch after a workout makes for the perfect active recovery exercise. We all should be stretching after exercise, and don’t underestimate how great stretching is for your fitness results. The more you stretch, the more flexible you’ll be.
- Walking: If you’re a runner, or just got done with a sweat dripping FitOn workout, try going for a brisk walk outside, or hop on the treadmill. Walking is an ideal form of active recovery as you’re improving your cardiovascular endurance, but it’s low-impact enough that you aren’t going to completely stress out your already tired muscles.
Make Active Recovery a Regular Part of Your Fitness Routine
The takeaway here is that active recovery should be viewed as more of an add-on to what you are already doing as opposed to a one day a week kind of a thing. No matter what your fitness level, try to add at least a little bit of it at the end of your workout. This will help support endurance, strength, recovery, and makes the perfect way to cool down your body after an intense workout.