You need to spend a day actively resting.
That sentence doesn’t even seem to make sense does it? How can you rest if you’re being active?
Active Rest is a term that only works if you use it in context. In this case, context means comparing a day that you’re working out hard to a day that you are working out far less. Depending on the level of experience and fitness that you’re currently at, Active Rest is going to look different for you than it does for someone else. For instance, if you’re in the final weeks of training for a marathon, your Active Rest will be much different than a person who is brand new to weightlifting.
For someone who is crushing their work out five days a week, active rest is going to look more like the workout days of someone who runs three days a week. The point for both of them is to get the body moving just enough to stimulate the recovery system in the body and get the blood pumping.
Sticking to Those Goals
Anyone who is working out should have some goals that they’re working towards. It might be weight loss or muscle building, but they’re goals nonetheless. In order to reach those goals, fitness has to be an every day kind of thing. Just like you know that going and blowing your diet by eating a whole pizza and drinking a gallon of soda would throw you way off course, so too will taking a day off totally from activity throw you off course. Being sedentary all day, unless you have an injury that is forcing you to be sedentary, is the workout equivalent of blowing your diet.
The difference in Active Rest and Passive Rest is that with the latter you might just lay on the couch all day, while with the former you’re going to get up and get moving. This helps you stick to your food goals and get closer to your overall fitness goals.
Part of this is changing the way that you think about yourself. You’re an active, fit individual who wants to be up and moving! You’ve got energy and vitality, and you enjoy being active. It’s not a chore that you need a break from, fitness is a lifestyle that you love. So much of health is mindset. Active Rest reinforces a good mental attitude towards health.
How to Rest Actively
There are lots of ways to participate in Active Rest activities. What’s wonderful about this method is that you can do it in any way that you want to, fitting your personal taste and keeping you invested in your health. You can do exotic exercises, but you can also keep it simple.
One great way to stay invested on Active Rest days is to focus on hydration and food goals. Check your water intake and refocus on what you want to do to maintain your health from all angles.
Other common forms of Active Rest are:
- Foam rolling
- Walking in the park/forest/beach/city
- Trampoline park
- Take the dog to the dog park
- Climb a tree
- Play at a playground
- Tai Chi
All of these are not only healthy activities, they’re fun! Ask yourself, why are you working out? One of the reasons should be so that you can enjoy your body more. On Active Rest days, you can!