Any good personal trainer will tell you how important it is to take time off from training so that your body can recover. But that doesn’t mean you have to sit still. Active recovery is a fantastic way to increase blood flow, eliminate toxins and help your muscles to rebuild.
Here are KBPT’s top tips for the days between your more strenuous workouts. This includes some low to moderate exercises – think of these as going at about 60% of your full capacity. Of course, if you’re injured or you feel really tired, we recommend taking a proper rest from any kind of exercise for a while.
If you’re sore the day after your workout, go for a walk. It might seem counterintuitive but, if you keep moving, you’ll feel better. Plus, being outside in the fresh air has lots of mental health benefits.
This is a great option as it’s low impact so it’s easy on your joints and muscles. If you live near a beach, river or lake, why not try wild swimming? The cold water can help to reduce inflammation and boost your mood.
Flexibility, blood flow, strength... yoga has so many physical benefits when you’re training regularly. It can also help your mental wellbeing by bringing relaxation and calmness to your day.
If you have a bike, a 30-45 minute gentle ride can be helpful for active recovery. Pick an easy route and avoid big hills. It’s probably better to do this kind of ride on your own so it doesn’t become a race.
5. Foam rolling
Not yet a member of the foam roller club? You’re missing out! Foam rolling your calves, hamstrings and other parts of your body can help to release muscle tightness, increase blood flow and flush out toxins.
As well as the activities listed above, you could also do some fun stuff with your family, like going to the playground with the kids, dancing around the living room or doing some gardening.
It’s also a good idea to use your rest days to prepare your meals and snacks for the next few days. Could you make a few smoothies or batch cook something for the freezer? You’ll find lots of healthy recipes in our @KBPT #FoodieFriday posts on Instagram.
And don’t forget about self-care. These in-between days are the perfect time to have a relaxing bath, listen to your favourite podcast or even take a cheeky afternoon nap.
To find out more about KBPT, email Kate at [email protected].