Not all of us go to the gym every day and for the days that you don’t go, we call them rest days. An active rest day is a day that involves performing light exercises on your day off from the gym.
Despite popular belief, you do not need to go hard at the gym every day! By taking an active rest day, you are giving your body a chance to recover properly without being completely sedentary. It is actually easier to stay active and inspired to do things when you’re constantly moving than the latter.
It is important to participate in some form of activity every day rather than be a complete couch potato because
- It will help improve your mood
- Keep your energy up
- Increase flexibility, reduces stiffness – this is a great opportunity to set some time aside for you to participate in deep stretching
- Helps stick to your diet – You are used to eating well when you exercise. When you are being a couch potato it’s easy to naturally want to buy snacks.
These are some ideas for low impact activities that you can do on your next active rest day.
- WalkingThis is a leisurely stroll around the neighbourhood, or maybe a casual walk around the park. The lower expectation you can give it, the better. This is just to mildly increase your heart rate and get that stagnant blood flowing through your body!
- YogaYou can take a class or play a yoga video on Youtube! There are plenty of free and short yoga videos that are available on Youtube. The most important thing is to savour these poses and really get a good massage to your connective tissues. Hot yoga is another good way to give your body a chance to sweat out all the toxins in your cells.
- SwimmingNo competitive swimming needed. Just a couple of laps in the pool, or even playing in the water with your children is great. Swimming is the perfect low impact sport to improve muscle strength yet also improve flexibility.
- Tai ChiTai Chi is not just for the elderly. It is beneficial for people of all ages. This is a gentle exercise that incorporates breath work and stretching with intention and mindfulness. It’s often called a meditation in motion.
- DanceThere are plenty of drop in classes you can find. Otherwise, turn up the music at home and just move! You don’t need to be a professional dancer to bust a move.
- HikingIf you’re in Vancouver, you’ll know that there are tons of amazing hiking trails in our backyard. Not sure which one to try? With a simple google search, you can find tons of reviews and ratings for the easiest and hardest hiking trails! Happy trails 🙂
- Play with your kids at the parkYes, this counts if you are actively playing with them. Not sitting on a bench watching! You are never too old to have fun. Go play a light game of tag, or go on the swings.
- CyclingTake it easy! If you have a bike, ride around at your local park. Otherwise there are plenty of bike rental shops such as by the Seawall at Stanley Park in Vancouver. It is all just a matter of a google search away 🙂
Which one are you going to try for active rest day? 🙂