Rest is just as important to your healthy lifestyle as strength training, cardio, or eating a balanced diet. It’s the crucial repair work that goes on while you are resting that leaves your body stronger and fitter. But rest doesn’t have to mean lying on the couch and eating a pizza (even if that is nice every once in a while). Active rest or rest that gets your body moving gently is one of the best ways to support your growing fitness regime. I take a closer look at active rest and how to incorporate it into your workout schedule, below.
What is Active Rest?
Active rest is a gentle workout that gets your heart pumping and your body moving but that doesn’t push you too far or too hard. Active rest days could include a walk in the park, a leisurely swim at your local pool or a gentle cycle into town. Active rest isn’t just a pleasant way to spend your time, it can actually improve your recovery time – encouraging the body to heal without putting undue strain on your muscles and joints.
How Often Should I Have an Active Rest Day?
This really depends on your current fitness level and workout regime. Most people should look to have two or three active rest days a week. If you’re very new to fitness you may start with active rest alone before moving on to a more challenging exercise schedule.
How Long Should I Actively Rest For?
You should aim for around 15 to 60 minutes of active rest on those days when you are looking to move but not push your body to the limit. Remember if you’re sweating heavily or find yourself out of breath you are not actively resting. Keep things at a mild to moderate pace that works for you.
Can Working Out Too Hard Really Be Dangerous?
Yes, is the short answer. Although exercising has a huge range of health benefits, pushing yourself too hard, too often, can leave you exhausted, open to painful injuries like tendonitis, and even put a dangerous amount of strain on your heart. Active rest days are great for people who love to be active every day but want to protect themselves from injury.
I hope you have some fun active rest booked in for this weekend. As the weather starts to cool down, it’s the perfect time to take a leisurely walk or just take the kids to the park and have fun in the playground. If you want to improve your workout schedule but are not sure where to start, FitFusion PT can help. Our personal trainers are not only experts at what they do, they are pretty awesome people too. Whatever your fitness level or experience, we can build a programme that can help you to reach your unique goals. We are here to cheer you on and support you every step of the way. Until next time, stay amazing.