If you’ve been following me for a while you know I’m a huge nature lover. Going for walks on trails and being surrounded by trees on a beautiful day is how I recharge. So on my “rest days,” I sometimes like to have more of an active recovery day outside instead. Active recovery, just means that instead of chilling on the couch watching Netflix or youtube videos on the days that you don’t go to the gym, you do some easy light exercises just to keep your body moving.
Something nowhere near as tough as a heavy leg day workout at the gym, while still taking a break.
Most recently I used my rest day to take a day trip to Hanging Rock State Park. It’s a really awesome nature park in North Carolina that’s famous for a rock that you can climb, and take a picture from, to make it look like your hanging from a cliff. It was a 2.06 mile hike up and down a mountain in total and it was relatively easy to do.
The view was amazing and it felt good to face my fear of heights. I also made sure to see a few water falls that were in the area as well.
Being on such an awesome trip inspired me to put together some other ideas on what active recovery activities you can try on your next active rest day.
8 Active Recovery Ideas for Your Next Rest Day
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- Hiking. Not only will a light hike get your body moving but being outside in the fresh air and sunshine will put you in a better mood.
- A short walk or jog. You don’t have to go to the gym or climb up a mountain like I did. Going for a walk around your neighborhood is just as good. If you have any dogs you should take them with you!
- An ab workout. Working on your core is something that you can do everyday with no problems. a 15 – 20 minute simple core workout is a good way keep your body moving and tighten up your midsection. You can find a really good ab routine here.
- Yoga. Yoga and stretching is really great on a rest day especially if you have and sore or tight muscles from earlier in the week. Try taking a yoga class and being around fun and positive energy.
- Foam Rolling. Another way to deal with sore muscles on an active recovery day is to take a foam roller or a massage roller and go over all of the sore or tight muscles that you have.
- Swimming. I’m not much of a swimmer but it’s a great form of cardio and improves the circulation in your body.
- Play a casual sport. Playing a casual game of basketball, tennis, soccer, etc. will get your heart rate up and can give you and opportunity to spend times with friends or family.
- Bike riding. Find a nice trail to ride a bike on in the morning as a way to start your day and then reward yourself with a celebratory smoothie for breakfast.