Tips for Conquering Soreness with Active Rest Days
You head to bed after a tough workout feeling exhausted but accomplished. That workout didn't stand a chance. The next morning is a different story. Even before you open your eyes you can feel your muscles screaming. Instead of posting up on the couch to binge watch your way through your soreness, you can take an active role in your rest and recovery. The key to increasing your fitness level is how well you recover. Let's take a look at some activities you can do to ease some of those aches and pains.
Getting enough sleep after a workout is absolutely essential. Make sure to get at least 8 full hours of rest when possible. As you sleep, your body is able to recover from the stress and strain of cardio and strength training routines.
Self-Myofascial release can help you improve flexibility, reduce some soreness and help your body recover faster. Grab a foam roller and use it to slowly massage various muscle groups. You can make the process as intense or as relaxed as you like by allow your weight to rest on the roller more or less.
Going for a dip and swimming some laps is a great way to stay active while putting less stress on your joints and muscles. Even just 15-20 minutes is enough to help relax some of the soreness away.
If you're a runner, rest days can feel like you're moving in slow motion. A light jog will help you get that movement you love, but make sure not to push it into a typical workout to avoid overtraining.
Along with being a great active recovery activity, this is an amazing way to get into nature and unwind the mind. Grab some water bottles and maybe a light picnic and hike around your favorite park or trail. This will help work a variety of muscle groups in a way that doesn't increase stress.
Odds are you're still a little dehydrated the next morning. Make sure to bring your water bottle to the office and sip on it throughout the day. Not drinking enough water can make soreness even worse.