Whether you’re an athlete, a fitness enthusiast, or a casual exerciser, rest is just as important as diet and exercise. Most people use their rest days as passive rest days—meaning they avoid any physical activity to repair and relax their bodies—but some people can’t do nothing. Instead, they opt for active rest days, or rest days with the inclusion of light exercise. Here’s everything you need to know about active rest days to avoid injury but still keep up your personal goals.
Don’t Treat Your Rest Day as a Full Workout
The point of any rest day is to give your body the break it deserves from continuous exercise. You may be at your most motivated to push through your plateau and conquer your training, but your body needs a break. Active rest days are different from passive rest days in that you’re still performing a low level of exercise, such as light cardio, yoga, or stretching. Remember, this is light exercise. This is not a grueling workout. Keep your active rest days as steady-state activities to burn calories but still give your body a much-needed break.
Think About Your End Goals
Although a rest day helps you recover and relax, keep your fitness goals in mind. Whether you plan to bulk up, cut down you weight, or maintain an optimal body weight, use this rest day to pursue these goals. Perhaps you train with heavy weightlifting five or six days out of the week. Use your active rest to stretch, massage your muscles, or eat more food. If you’re more of a runner, use your active rest day for yoga, stretching, or ice baths. There’s no wrong way to have an active rest day, but keep in mind that, again, these should be low-stress activities.
Have Fun with It
At the end of the day, when you’re thinking about everything you need to know about active rest days, have fun with it. This is your time to give your body the break it deserves from strenuous training. Even if you hop on an elliptical, a treadmill, or a recumbent bike for an extra cardio session, play your favorite music or podcasts and tune out. Now’s the time to focus on your mental health as much as your physical health.
Serious training takes a lot out of you, so if you find yourself facing burnout from your training sessions, take more rest days. It’s better and safer to rest and give it your all on your training days than to keep training and risk injury.
If you want to keep up your cardio on your active rest day, there’s no better place than Top Fitness Store. Browse our selection of lateral elliptical machines for the best active rest day cardio equipment for your home gym. Otherwise, we carry various treadmills, stair climbers, or recovery tools to keep your body happy and healthy. At Top Fitness Store, we have everything you need to build your dream home gym and recovery station.