Rest Days... Active or Passive?
Now we all love the sensation and sense of accomplishment we get once completing a hard session. May this be finishing the final mile or the final rep, the endorphins are like none other!
This however may lead us taking our bodies for granted and not providing it with the adequate rest that it needs to continue! Active rest days are a great way to keep the body moving but also repairing, these days can be implemented into your week to break up the heavy sessions with something lighter and more different. It can be a great feeling being fully focused on your goals but giving your body time to recover with active rest days can actually be more beneficial than going H.A.M seven days a week!
There are two types of active rest days:
- Passive Rest – These are the days which you take to fully lounge around, may this be having a massive lie in or being a full-on coach potato and catching up on your favourite TV shows. This sounds very appealing doesn’t it? However, this could stiffen your muscles up more and end up being more negative in the long run. A lie in and a quick hour binging TV never hurt anyone though, so don’t think this is something you cannot do!
- Active Rest – These are days in which you incorporate low-intensity activities into your day, this allows you to keep up your momentum throughout the week and keep you focused on your fitness goals. This will also keep the muscles working at a lower rate, helping them recover a lot better.
Active rest days should by no means be intense, we would suggest no more than 50% of your max output on your training days. You may be thinking ‘what can I do on these days?’ well, here are several ways you can try:
- Walking – Going for a nice stroll will get the legs working and enhance blood flow so that you are recovering while working. 20-30 minutes can really help and again promote circulation and reduce stiffness and soreness.
- Cycling – A leisurely paced cycle can mean a world of difference to your muscles and is an excellent way to recover. This low impact activity does not put any pressure on your joints and be done both inside and out!
- Stretching – It goes without saying that you should always stretch, the main time is after exercise when your muscles are warm. However, this can slip your mind, especially when you have finished a heavy session. Implementing stretching or Yoga into an active rest day will stretch out the muscles and also increase your flexibility thus aiding you further in your goals.
- Swimming – This is a low-impact exercise that is easy on both your joints and muscles but will also provide you with an all-over body workout without completely exerting yourself. By doing this you will be using all the muscles which you have previously worked hard on and giving them another avenue to recover under and potentially help you recover faster!
As you will know by now, A-List provide a wide variety of supplements and brands which you can implement into your day-to-day lifestyle to help further your recovery, especially on these passive/active rest days!
- 1st Phorm Phormula-1 – This fast-digesting isolate protein is an ideal way to make sure your body is getting a good amount of protein per shake which is a great way to promote muscle repair after periods of training. Perfect for after your swim/walk/stretch. Check out Phormula-1 here and all it’s amazing flavours!
- BPN Whey Protein – This is a staple supplement at A-List HQ. This product features the perfect blend of 88% fast-acting whey protein and 12% slow-digesting casein protein meaning your body will utilize the amino acids within slower and throughout the day. This will again benefit your recovery and also aid in building muscle. We tend to use this in the morning to set ourselves up for the day ahead! Check out BPN Whey Protein here and also their Vegan Protein here!
- Arms Race Nutrition Nite Nite – This is the newest sleep aid to come to the A-List site and one which we believe needs more love due to its amazing range of ingredients which will have you saying goodbye to counting sheep! This sleep aid will help you maximise your recovery while you get to lay your head on your pillow, how good does that sound? The key ingredients in Nite Nite have been shown to shorten time to fall asleep but also increase your time asleep as well helping your body recover through this new and improved rest and sleep. Check out ARN Nite Nite here!
After reading through this blog, please do not think that we are saying you should never take a rest day. If your body is experiencing symptoms of fatigue or you are in pain, please take a rest day and fully recover as this may lead to overtraining and your body completely burning out, and who wants that?!
Please note that not all products on this post are yet to be available on the EU site but can be purchased from our UK site. If you have any further questions please contact us email@example.com.
Have a great day!