What is Active Recovery?

It’s easy to sometimes neglect muscle recovery when you’ve started a new fitness program or you’re working towards some goals. 

While you need discipline and dedication to reach your goals, it’s important to let your muscles recover, to continue reaching your goals and to reduce the risk of injury. 


What is active recovery?

As Medical News Today reports, activity recovery is a low intensity activity an individual performs after high intensity training to improve and speed up recovery. Non-strenuous activities include walking, yoga or swimming just to name a few examples. Typically, these activities are performed at the end of a training weekly cycle, or after intense high-intensity workout. 

Results from a 2016 study by PLOS One, found 20 minutes of post-exercise active recovery involving the same muscles that were active during the fatiguing exercise is more effective in fatigue recovery than active exercise using the muscles that were not involved in the exercise. 


Types of active recovery 

There are multiple forms of active recovery you can complete after a strenuous workout or on the days you don’t complete a strength workout. 

Typical active recovery activities include:

  • Walking or Jogging
  • Cycling
  • Yoga 
  • Swimming 


 Benefits of Active Recovery

While a commitment to achieving your fitness goals is important, active recovery is just as important. 

Some of the reported benefits of active recovery include:

  • Reducing lactic acid buildup in muscles
  • Eliminating toxins
  • Keeping muscles flexible
  • Reducing soreness
  • Increasing blood flow
  • Helping you maintain your exercise routine


How often should you complete active recovery?

If you are training anywhere between 4 - 6 times per week, try to incorporate at least one active recovery day in your training week. Usually, this is best done at the end of the week or over the weekend once you have completed your training block. 

If you don’t like taking rest days, or if you do experience muscle soreness and fatigue, try incorporating more active recovery days!


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