TAKE AN ACTIVE ROLE – Active Recovery

When you take a rest day it can be tempting to sit on the couch all day to “recover,” but our bodies need more than that to recover from a hard workout. Just like you are an active participant in your own workouts, you also need to be an active participate in your recovery strategies so that you can come back stronger, faster and fitter.

WHY AM I SO SORE?

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS, happens 24-72 hours after a workout, but it’s a myth that soreness is caused by lactic acid build up. DOMS doesn’t happen after every workout, only after exercise that is new to you or that your body isn’t accustomed to. A challenging workout will create tiny, micro tears in the muscle. The repair process is what causes the discomfort from DOMS.

HOW TO RECOVER

Working out at lower intensity, rather than doing nothing, will help your body heal faster. Increased blood flow will oxygenate the tissue and provide necessary nutrients (like amino acids and calcium) allowing the muscles to repair themselves.

Here are some ways you can actively participate in your recovery:

  • Go for a walk
  • Get a massage
  • Go for an easy hike or bike ride
  • Use contrast therapy: alternating hot and cold
  • Stretch
  • Sit in a hot tub
  • Take a yoga class
  • Get more sleep
  • Eat nutritious foods

Understand that the body needs varying levels of intensity. Sometimes we go hard in our workouts, and sometimes we need to go easy to avoid burnout. Enjoy your easy days with these active recovery strategies.

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