- Sarah Louise & Bill Wynne
5 ways to move your body on rest days (active recovery)
Rest days are a crucial part of any fitness journey. These are the days where your muscles are recovering from your workouts and building themselves stronger for the next one. It’s recommended to implement 2-3 rest days throughout the week to avoid injury and burnout from overworked muscles.
But that’s not to say you have to spend your rest days asleep on the sofa all day. Getting up and lightly moving can help relieve sore muscles. That’s why today we’re sharing 5 ways to move your body on rest days - read on below 👇
What is active recovery?
Active recovery is all about letting your body recover the way it needs to, but still being lightly active.
It’s the sort of physical activity which isn’t strenuous following a workout, and can be as simple as stretching or going outdoors to do something you love.
" There’s a big difference between a “workout” and “exercise”. We should ideally exercise every day, but not workout every day. Moving your body through light exercise for 30 minutes every day is beneficial for a healthy lifestyle and mindset."
What are the benefits of active recovery?
Discovering the benefits of active recovery can really help you enjoy your rest days more, and actually see the value of them. Some amazing benefits are:
It makes it easier to make healthy choices throughout the day. When we’re active, we’re also more inclined to make good choices with our nutrition (ahem, protein 😉)
It gives a big boost to your mobility and flexibility by stretching your muscles. This helps you move better in your workouts and therefore reduce the risk of injuries.
It's more mentally stimulating to shake up your physical activity, especially if you’re getting outdoors.
And if you always feel really sore and stiff after workouts, you’ll love this benefit:
It relieves sore muscles by improving circulation throughout the body and removing ‘metabolic waste’ which builds up when you’re exercising and lingers in the body. Less pain, still gain!
💡 Want to learn more about why your rest days matter? Check out "5 muscle building fundamentals EVERYONE should learn".
5 ideas for active recovery
#1 Go for a long walk🚶♀️
This is a fantastic option if your workouts largely consist of staring at the same four walls of your local gym or home workout space.
Pick somewhere new or somewhere you love to be outdoors, focus on your surroundings and keep to a good, steady pace for 30 minutes.
#2 Complete a stretch- or mobility routine 🧘🏻♀️
Like mentioned, working on your mobility and flexibility will benefit you greatly for your workouts. You can do this with a 15-20 minute stretch routine.
Make sure the stretch routine works the muscles you targeted in your workout.
💡 Did you know: the trainn app is packed with stretches and mobility exercises you can follow along to
#3 Join in on a relaxing yoga session 🤸🏻♂️
Just like stretching, an easy yoga session can be a great way to encourage healthy muscle recovery. By also focusing on your breathing you’re boosting circulation to stimulate muscle repair and growth while resting.
#4 Go ourdoors cycling or swimming 🏊🏻
If you’re looking to do something a bit more adventurous, a 30 minute cycle or swim might be a more mentally stimulating option. These are much better suited to a rest day than team sports as you can set your own steady pace.
And if you do pick cycling, remember to only keep to an easy incline - this can be just as strenuous as spending too long exercising.
#5 ...or keep your rest day as a rest day 🤗
There’s nothing wrong with having a chilled out day too. While being active most days contributes to both your muscle recovery and overall health, having a day here and there to just switch off and relax on the sofa is important too.
Improve your workouts with trainn
Active recovery is a great way to boost your muscle recovery and see more results with your workouts. While it doesn’t hurt to fully relax every so often, a certain amount of physical activity each day can really pay off.
Making sure your weekly workout routine is structured correctly will help you get more out of your rest days. One of our favourite apps for this is trainn. This app is the perfect way to create your personalised training plan with just the right amount of workouts and rest days for your fitness goal.
It's never too late to start making changes to your fitness journey. Sign up to trainn below and start a workout routine you can maintain forever: