I’ve done some form of physical activity five days in a row–I really wanted to start the New Year off on the right foot. But I know it’s also important to give my body a rest so today is officially a day off. Good news is that living in the DC metro area one is always sure to have some activity during the daily commute walking up escalators, etc.
I did a quick google search on rest days and found a lot of sites that talked about a rest day of doing nothing versus a day of active rest. I never really thought about active rest before but it’s true that if you are training for something you should not let the couch completely take hold over you on those days, but rather do some light exercise that gets your heart rate up to no more than 65% of your maximum heart rate. In general rest days are important to prevent stress injuries and give your muscles time to heal from the harder workouts. The Nike Training Club site that I stumbled upon says the following: “Being moderately active can actually help your body recover, hence the term ‘active rest.’ Getting your heart rate up helps to get your blood flowing, bringing oxygen and nutrients to muscles damaged by working out. Getting your blood pumping will also help flush away waste products like lactic acid that can build up in muscles post exercise.” (http://www.fitsugar.com/Benefits-Active-Rest-1139889)
Yet, I do have to say that some days I do not want an active rest day. And on days like those I tell myself it’s ok to give myself over to the couch and tune in to my favorite television programming.