How to Plan Effective Recovery Days


Recovery and rest days are an essential part of working out. To be successful, you simply have to plan ahead and choose the best type of rest day for your body.

October 2021. This article is independently written by Fusion 360. All opinions given are the opinion of Fusion 360

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Exercising isn’t only about how many hours you put in at the gym. Burnout and overtraining are common mistakes of people who are either new to exercise or starting to increase the intensity of their workouts. Rest days bring your body back into balance. They relieve pain and soreness, allow your muscles to recover, prevent injury, and support your mental health and wellbeing. However, learning how to plan effective recovery days can be daunting.

Workout fanatics may feel guilty taking a day off and be afraid to lose all of their hard-earned progress.

Those increasing intensity may be wondering exactly how much time between exercises your body needs for optimum muscle gain.

Or maybe you are new to working out, and you may feel like one rest day is the difference between staying consistent and losing steam.

It's vital for anyone to understand what a recovery day should look like. Once you know your options, you will begin to feel better about the days spent outside the gym. This article explores the best ways to incorporate recovery into your workout routine.

Periodization

According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), periodization is essential to optimize gains and plan effective recovery days. Periodization means using a combination of low-, medium-, and high-intensity workouts for each week.

An extreme example of periodization is a runner training for a marathon. Over time, the runner will gradually increase the distance that they run. They do not run the equivalent of a marathon every day, but they add miles to their schedule over several weeks until they reach the day of the race. After the race, they take a period of rest before starting to run short distances once more.

The average person does not need to train like a marathon runner but incorporating all three types of intensities is the most efficient way to increase intensity and workout gains.

Types of Recovery



Your options for your rest day are as varied as your options for working out. It can be tempting to spend most of your rest day sleeping or laying around (in fact, this is one type of rest day), but “resting” doesn’t have to mean sleeping.

There are two main types of rest days: active and passive. Active rest involves low-impact, low-intensity activity, while passive rest means taking the whole day off from exercise.

A few examples of active rest include walking, gentle yoga, and a short bike ride. Active rest promotes soft tissue repair (muscles, tendons, ligaments) and breaks up the lactic acid in your muscles. Lactic acid causes muscles soreness, and gentle movement can bring more relief than sitting (even though it doesn't feel good at first!)

Passive rest is exactly how it sounds. A day lying on the beach, a rainy day reading on the couch, or a day spent lounging on the couch. While this may seem lazy or unproductive, passive rest can be effective, especially when paired with high-intensity workouts.

Think about a time when you hiked for most of the day, competed in a particularly challenging competition (such as a marathon), or worked a double shift. Your body didn't ask, it demanded a day of rest.

The best exercise routine incorporates a mix of both active and passive rest days.

A Note About Sleep: You don’t have to sleep all day for recovery, but 7-9 hours of sleep per night will help you increase muscle mass and change body composition. Sleep deprivation can lead to an increase in stress and other hormone changes related to recovery, mood, and overall health.

Making A Plan

During a seven-day week, you should aim for a combination of two to three high-intensity workouts, two to three moderate-intensity workouts, and one to three low-intensity workouts.

If you feel particularly motivated and do three high-intensity days, balance it out with two-low intensity or rest days. On the other hand, maybe you only feel energized enough for one high-intensity day and four medium-intensity days. That's fine too! Whatever the combination, be sure to listen to your body.

No matter your physical motivation, you should be sure to avoid high intensity if you are having a particularly stressful week. High intensity equals high stress, both physically and mentally, and will pose an added challenge for your body.

You are not going to lose muscle tone in a few days. It takes anywhere from a week to ten days of inactivity to lose muscle strength and tone (people who are new to exercise lose gains much more quickly). So as long as you are moving every day, one rest day will do more good than harm.

Full Body Balance

Knowing how to plan effective recovery days is essential for your health and well-being, no matter your fitness level. Your body needs a balance between work and play, rest and activity. Exercising too much can become an addiction, and like any addiction, it can have severe consequences for your health. Give your body the rest it needs, and you will be pleasantly surprised by the results! And always consult your physician before making any changes to your current workout routine.

Remember to use your Kailo pain patch before or after every workout, and on your recovery days! Patients have reported near-instant pain relief, and pain management experts theorize that Kailo works through your body’s natural electrical systems as it communicates with your brain. Try it and see the results for yourself!

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