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STAR Blog #21 – Active Recovery Versus Complete Rest

Updated: Jul 12, 2022

Proper rest periods in your exercise routine are crucial to avoid overtraining and injury. But what kind of rest day should you have? This depends on the type of training you’re doing, the intensity and how often you train. Both active recovery days and passive rest days can be beneficial to your training routine.

Active Recovery

An active recovery day is a day where you may remain active, but at a music lower intensity than your normal exercising that doesn’t increase your heart rate too much. Activities might include taking a yoga class, stretching or going for a walk.

It might seem a bit contradictory to exercise on your “rest day”, however studies show a number of benefits of staying active on your rest days. Active recovery days have been shown to increase blood flow, reduce muscle fatigue and soreness, reset your central nervous system and much more.

Complete Rest

Complete rest days are what you generally think of when someone says “rest day” – no exercise of any intensity. A day like this is ideal if your body is very sore from previous workouts. The objective of a rest day is to allow for both a mental and physical reset, ensuring you’re energised for your next training session.

It’s important to keep in mind that the type of rest days you need and how often you need them is all relative – recovery is very dependent on your own fitness levels and type of exercise you’re participating in. Listen to your body and ensure you’re allowing it to properly rest and recover in the way that it needs to avoid overtraining, fatigue and injuries.

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