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5 Ways to Spend Your Active Recovery Day

athlete doing active recovery

Dedicated to a rigorous fitness regime? Recovery is recognized as a "vital component of the overall exercise training paradigm," according to research from the American Council of Fitness. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should spend this period completely vegging out. Instead, an active recovery day allows you to simply taking things down a notch.

The basic idea is that you don’t put strain and stress on your muscles or body but keep it moving. Not only does this help any injuries to heal, but it also means that your body can start to rebuild and repair itself. Luckily, there are plenty of light activities in which you can engage. Here are seven ideas for how to spend your next recovery day.

How to Spend Your Active Recovery Day

1. Rowing

While you can burn between 400 to 1000 calories an hour by rowing, the handy thing about this activity is that you can take it at your own pace. It boosts your heart rate, but you are in total control of the workout.

The low-impact form of exercise is also easy on your muscles, bones, and joints. Experts from British Rowing note that this activity is great for injury rehabilitation too. All of the above makes it an ideal way to keep fit during your active recovery day.

2. Walking

You don’t need a fitness tracker to tell you that you should hit a decent step-count every day. When you’re having a light active recovery day, heading out for a quick walk is a smart thing to do.

The activity is an excellent form of low-level cardio exercise as it elevates your heart rate but doesn’t put too much pressure on your body. Should you want something a little more difficult, you can ramp this up to a mid-level jog.

3. Stretching and Mobility

Your recovery day is the perfect time to focus on your muscles and helping them to repair. Some stretching or mobility exercises could be the way to go since they can help you to strengthen various areas of your body.

For instance, using a foam roller to self-massage your sore muscles could help speed up the recovery process. Research suggests that this method helps to relieve tension while also improving your overall sports performance.

4. Yoga

Looking for something new? Adding yoga to your current training schedule may yield a whole wealth of benefits. From relaxing tight muscles to helping increase your flexibility (which leads to fewer workout-related injuries), research has shown that yoga can help you take your training to new heights.

When you have an active recovery day scheduled, it’s worth trying a yoga or pilates class and giving it a whirl.

5. Swimming

Heading for a swim could be one of the most effective things to do during your active recovery day. Studies suggest that using light swimming as a form of recovery could help to enhance your athletic performance in following training sessions, such as running.

Be sure to take things easy and opt for a low-impact stroke, such as breaststroke or the front crawl. Doing so will mean that you avoid overexertion.

Recovery days are a chance for you to unwind and allow your body to rest. With that in mind, you should choose activities that you enjoy and ones which help you feel relaxed. When you’re having fun, you will find that your low-impact workout will be as easy as pie. Now it’s over to you! Use these ideas for inspiration and add some of your own.

Tags: recovery


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