Recovery days are crucial to a well-balanced training plan for any fitness practice. Rest days give your muscles time to repair and your nervous system time to reset. Determining the right rest day frequency is highly individual and based on your training intensity, but incorporating rest days into your fitness routine is one of the best ways to protect your body from overexertion and injury.
Active Meal Prepping- This activity has an end result of providing healthy, nutritious meals. But have you considered that down time in the cooking process (waiting for water to boil or your pizza to come out of the oven) gives you the perfect opportunity to do little stretches or movements around the kitchen? Give some cross-kitchen lunges a try!
A Different Sport- Are you a runner? Consider spending your rest day lifting weights. Big into biking? Give yoga a go! Adding variety to your movement makes for more well-rounded bodily strength and helps avoid injury or overtraining specific muscles.
Balancing Act- Standing on one foot or balancing on a wobble board might seem like a pretty passive activity for an “active” rest day, but the mindfulness and small muscle adjustments required to find balance are actually very beneficial. If you need more structure to your movement than just balancing on one foot, Tai Chi is excellent practice for slowly shifting your weight and learning balance.
Shake It Off- Now’s your chance to play those guilty pleasure songs and dance like no one is watching! Dance is spontaneous, joyful cardio that gives you the opportunity to feel areas of your body that might be tight or sore so you can pay close attention to them when you’re stretching later.
Exercise Your Mind- A classic rest day for many of us means a Netflix marathon. Consider reading a chapter of a book during your recumbent relaxation time! Podcasts and Youtube tutorials are also great resources for new information. Give your mind different perspectives and ideas to consider and think of them as a mental stretch…
What activities do you enjoy on your rest days? Share in the comments below!