Making The Most Of Your Active Rest Days
As you go about your workout program, getting some active rest days scheduled in is one of the smartest things that you can do to ensure that you stay mentally and physically fresh. So many people get caught up in the thinking that ‘more is more’ when this just isn’t the case.
So what can you do on your active rest days to maximize their benefits? Making sure that you are taking these days properly is critical for success.
Let’s go into a few of the main points to know about active rest days.
Schedule In A Massage
First, if you have the time and funding available, consider going for a massage. Massages are a great way to reduce the amount of tension in the muscles and also help to loosen up the body and relax the mind.
On a day off, they’re a perfect way to enhance recovery and make sure you’re fully ready to get back into the gym and go full speed ahead again.
Try to get at least one massage a month if you can to stay on top of excess tension and stress.
Utilized Epsom Salt Baths
Next, if you can’t go for a massage, consider utilizing Epsom salt baths. These are great for enhancing the circulation to the muscles and the Epsom salt will further relax the tired muscles and improve nutrient delivery.
This is also a great thing to do if you’re suffering from any aches or pains throughout your training and can be used nightly. It’s a cost-effective alternative to going for the massage.
Walk And Stretch
Making sure that you’re doing some thorough stretching activities is also a great way to make use of your active rest days. Go out for a 15-20 minute brisk walk, which can be considered ‘active rest’ for most people and then take a good 30 minutes to really perform an intensive stretching session.
If you are ‘hooked’ on your workouts, so to speak, and struggle with taking time away from the gym entirely, this can be a good alternative so that you still mentally stay with the gym mindset, but allow your body that time to relax and repair itself.
Plus, you’ll enhance your flexibility in the process since most people aren’t dedicating enough time to do their stretching workouts each week as-is.
Maintain Your Diet
Finally, last but not least, make sure that you’re being mindful of your diet. Some people have the tendency to really cut back on their calories on their active rest days and go into strict diet mode because they feel guilty for eating when they aren’t doing a workout.
Try your best to avoid this. While you can cut back by a hundred or two calories since you aren’t burning as many, if you cut back too hard, you won’t be providing your body with the fuel that it needs to go through the repair and rebuilding process.
Hence, while your mind will get a break from your workouts, you won’t really achieve a maximally recovered state.
So there you have a few quick tips to keep in mind on your active rest days. Are you taking them?
To learn more about overtraining, please see this article.