Active Recovery – An Important Piece to Any Program
Written by Holden Rethwill
While you may not want to take a full rest day more than once a week (I’m the same same)…you SHOULD be taking at least one, and at least one “active recovery” day.
What is active recovery?
To me, it is anything low-intensity, that still breaks a sweat, but does not leave you in a heaping mess on the floor afterwards. It could be anything from a light jog, to a long walk, to maybe a solid spin on your bike. Shoot for Zone 2 effort or even less. Read more about the 5 Aerobic Work Zones for info and tips on each zone.
What it doesn’t involve is a ramped up heart rate, borderline passing out from breathing too hard, and aching muscles (unless you’re sore from yesterday). It shouldn’t be anything that makes you more sore than you already may be! It should actually leave you feeling regenerated and ready to kick tomorrow’s ass!
How do you schedule active recovery days?
If you follow any of the Invictus programs, Thursdays are good as an active recovery day because we’ve already hit it hard Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We take a day to recuperate a little bit, and then rock and roll on Friday and Saturday right before we take a full rest and recovery day on Sunday!
Active Recovery Workouts to Try
You can pick pretty much any activity or skill work and perform it at about 60-70% for 30-60 minutes. Here are some ideas.
Breathing protocols Massage, ART, Cupping, and other common recovery practicesCold Shower/Hot Shower mixes…try this out, it only takes 5-6 minutes.
10 seconds hot shower
20 seconds cold shower
(Start counting the time as soon as you feel the temperature change.)
Long spin on a bike at a slow paceFind a trail to walk Archery is THERAPEUTIC!!Sauna Throw on a heavy-ish (40# or so) pack and go for a long walk – tell me this doesn’t make you sweat!
And the list goes on and on…possibilities are endless. At the end of the day it just needs to be something you ENJOY, and that will help you FEEL BETTER, and bring some MENTAL CLARITY! Share your favorite recovery day activities in the comments!