Rest and Recovery – when should i rest? How often should I take complete rest or should i do active recovery? What is active recovery and are you actually doing active recovery? These are questions we as coaches here alot and constantly see athletes either misunderstanding or misinterpreting. Hope this little blog will answer and few of those questions and put some of the common mistakes we see regularly corrected.
What tends to happen is you start enjoying coming to the gym so much because you are seeing results and you are making friends and getting connected to the community and you don’t want to take days off – but this can also lead to some nagging injuries if you’re not listening to your body. I have seen it happen time and time again and I, myself, have made this mistake more than once. So what does someone do on his or her rest day?
Here is what we suggest and as coaches do ourselves:
– Aerobic Restoration
– Mobility and Maintenance
– Inflammation Maintenance
– Nutrition Preparation
– Mental Restoration
Personally I like to take complete rest days, or I may do some light stretching or i would definitely recommend a restorative yoga class. The key here is that we want to balance the yin with the yang; we don’t want to do something that’s going to be high intensity. If we are going to do something on a rest day, it needs to be restorative. My favorite thing to do on a rest day is get a massage or some sort of body work, ART, or acupuncture. If you are coming in on a regular basis of 3-4 days a week, I highly suggest scheduling some sort of restorative body work at least once a month – you are worth it and your body will thank you.
Regardless if you are a competitive CrossFit athlete or just someone looking to get fitter – remember more is not always better, but better is better. Learn to listen to your body, learn to be ok with missing a day here or there in order to take care of yourself. You are only going to get stronger and faster if you allow your muscles a chance to recover.