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Active Recovery

By: Kristen Summers and Abby Veigel

Active Recovery- What is it and Why is it important?

Rest is a key pillar to any healthy lifestyle. Proper rest is just as important as training protocols in a program but often overlooked because of our societies mentally of "more is better."

Inadequate rest can contribute to overtraining syndrome, when an individual trains beyond their ability to recover. Without adequate rest to aid in the challenge posed to the body from physical activity, individuals may experience negative effects such as disturbed sleep, hormone imbalance, decreased performance, poor immunity and compromised metabolism.

While some days, total rest is needed, other days can be used as “Active recovery days.”

“Active Recovery” is a term used to describe activity that requires exertion of no more than 60% maximum effort. Some examples of active recovery are

· walking

· hiking

· swimming

· biking

· light jogging

· or simply, increased daily movement for active recovery.

All of these activities promote blood flow, help rid the body of metabolic waste that accumulates after vigorous workouts and contribute to enjoyment of an overall healthy active lifestyle.

A good training program will often include one total rest day and one active recovery day. One to two rest days per week are needed to appropriately recover from the challenging stimulus of effective strength training exercise so don’t skip those rest days!

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