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  • Writer's pictureKimberly LaBounty

Active vs. Passive Recovery

What is Active Recovery? What is Passive Recovery?

Active recovery involves low-intensity exercise following a strenuous workout. Athletes who are training or actively working out might find that instead of complete rest and no exercise on your off day(s), a day with yoga, walking or swimming might be more beneficial to keep blood flowing and help muscles recover more quickly and rebuild. It can reduce toxins and lactic acid buildup, helping muscles feel less fatigued.

An active recovery day should have a different activity from your usual workout and should not be at your maximum effort. Active recovery is best when you are generally sore. Passive recovery - complete rest – is best when you are injured or in pain, or you’re extremely tired either mentally or physically.

Active Recovery Ideas:

· Yoga will help stretch sore muscles and increase flexibility. Yoga also reduces stress and inflammation.

· Some researchers believe when you swim the water may help reduce inflammation. It is also easier on your joints.

· Walking is a great too. Take it at a leisurely pace to enhance blood flow and help with recovery.

· Also consider some basic stretching and foam rolling on your active recovery days.

Active recovery can also be used as a cooldown after a workout. We often end our workout and hop in the car, or head to our (home) office. Instead, consider hopping on the bike and doing an easy pace for a few minutes, gradually reducing effort to help you recover.

Overall it’s important to listen to your body and respond accordingly. It’s easy to feel guilty on the days you aren’t working out, so remind yourself that what you do on your “off” day is just as important as how much you lifted the day before. If you think you might have an injury, skip the exercise and allow your body to rest.

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