What are 'Active Recovery Days'??
Rather than having a complete rest day after a long or hard workout or competition, you can use active recovery.
It is common to feel sluggish and sore the day after your workout, race, or game, but passive recovery isn't recommended unless you are injured.
Instead, it is good to do some 'light physical activity'. This can be walking, easy jogging, easy cycling, or mobility exercises. Massage can also be used as part of active recovery.
Active recovery helps mobilize the joints, which need to move through their range of motion to be lubricated. It also gets the blood flowing through your muscles, which brings them key nutrients to build new muscle as well as helps carry away waste products (thus reducing soreness).
During an active recovery day, you don't want to engage in activities that challenge the muscles used the day before. Instead, aim for doing lighter activities.
Active recovery appears to allow an athlete to physically and psychologically recover from the stresses of training and competing while still maintaining fitness levels.
It is becoming a common part of most training plans and appears to offer more benefit than harm.
Consider adding a bit of easy, low-intensity exercise to your post-competition / workout recovery plan and see if you feel better faster!