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May 29, 2021 4 min read

In many cases, keeping your body moving after training will help with the recovery process. Physical inactivity “de-energizes” your muscles, restricting blood flow and slowing down the repair and recovery, while movement improves blood flow, driving more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles while removing body wastes.

What is Active Recovery?

When you’re super sore following a workout, you might be tempted to lay down on your couch and avoid any activities at all. While this may be the typical advice we get from our previous coaches,  however, with the advances in sports science and technology, active recovery is more helpful. Active recovery involves performing low-intensity workouts following strenuous high-intensity workouts. A safe cut-off should be at least 50% of your maximum effort. Athletes should partake in active recovery following training as this may improve their overall performance.

PRO NOTE: A study shows that a 20-minute post-training active recovery working the same muscle groups used during the high-intensity exercises is more effective than active exercises of the muscles that were not utilized during the training. Athletes who are training for specific sports must exercise the same body parts during active recovery. Simply, during active recovery, a sprinter may switch to biking and a cyclist may perform jogging to recover their legs strength.

Active VS. Passive Recovery

Unlike active recovery, passive recovery involves the body in complete rest. Passive recovery is more appropriate and beneficial if you’re injured, in pain, or when you’re very tired after exercising. However, if none of these fits you and you remain sore, active recovery may be the better option.

Benefits of Active Recovery

Active recovery helps you recover faster after a difficult workout. It keeps blood flowing to help muscles recover and rebuild from intense physical activity. The benefits include:

  • Enhanced blood flow
  • Reduced lactic acid buildup
  • Flushes out metabolic wastes
  • Alleviates muscle soreness and pain
  • Keeps muscles flexible
  • Keeps your body in sync with your exercise intensity, especially if it’s self-paced

    Three Post-Workout Active Recovery Strategies

    There are a few different ways to take part in active recovery exercises.

    • During Cooldown After a Workout:following a tough workout, try to cool down gradually. If you went for a run or sprint, you may do a short, light jog to loosen up. Just make sure you’re not working at your maximum effort.

    PRO NOTE:a 10-minute self-paced active recovery at 50–60% of your maximum effort was found to be beneficial, with faster removal of lactate buildup in the blood.

    • During Circuit Training:when participating in interval training, a set of active recovery intervals may help control lactate buildup to help your muscles recover before the next hard interval. After a hard sprint, running back to the starting line at slow intensity is a good rest interval.

    PRO NOTE:the American Council on Exercise found that athletes recovered faster by continuing at less than 50% of their maximum efforts between intervals.

    • Between Training Days:during rest days and when you’re sore, participate in active recovery exercises by going for short walks or easy bike rides. You may also want to try stretching, swimming, or yoga.

    PRO NOTE:planning a strategic active recovery and incorporating various recovery methods can turbocharge the overall recovery process. The key is to choose any activity that’s low-intensity, performing them at 30-60% of your maximum heart rate, while giving yourself adequate hydration and nutrition and allowing sufficient time for sleep.

      Recovapro Recommends: Planning Your Active Recovery Day

      An active recovery day supports the training you do in the gym – the muscle-building workouts – and reduces post-training aches and pains. It improves blood flow and helps in the repair of tissue damages. Instead of just chilling on your couch, make the most of your next active recovery day to help you reboot your mind and body by checking out these few active recovery day activities checklist:

      • Light Cardio workouts:easy walks, light jogging, or short bike rides are good examples. Doing these can keep your blood pumping without pushing yourself to your limit.
      • Mobility and flexibility workouts:strength and skill training can make your muscles stiff, so take advantage of your rest days by focusing on your flexibility. You can turn into yoga or other meditational exercises that incorporate flexibility and mobility exercises, as well as breathing and relaxation techniques that are crucial for total body regeneration
      • Targeted self-myofascial release (SMR):As a form of roller massager, the RecovaBall can help enhance joint range of motion and recovery process, as well as post-exercise muscle performance with an associated decrease in acute or delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). It helps to release knots created in damaged muscles. This release will improve blood flow which is essential for the delivery of nutrients to your muscles necessary for repair.

      PRO NOTE:SMR using roller massager for five seconds to two minutes for 2 to 5 sessions may be beneficial for enhancing joint flexibility as a pre‐exercise warm‑up and cool down. A 10-20 minute SMR post-high intensity exercise attenuates decrements in muscle performance and reduces post-exercise DOMS.

      • Active release with vibration therapy:Active Release Techniques (ART) target specific areas prone to developing scar tissues to restore range of motion, improve circulation, and stimulate faster, better, more complete healing, while vibration therapy is effective at the reduction of DOMS.

      PRO NOTE:a study indicated that vibration reduced muscle pain at 24, 48, and 72 hours, with peak pain relief at 48 hours. An increase in creatine kinase (CK) levels represents muscle fiber damage and injury. Vibration therapy can alleviate muscle damage and inflammation at 24 and 48 hours, with the greatest benefit down-regulating CK levels also at 48 hours following exercise.

      Recovapro For Speedy Active Recovery!

      When you need to ease sore muscles for rapid recovery, try the Recovapro massage gun! Active recovery helps a lot, but if you want to turbocharge it, percussive massagers like Recovapro massage gun can deliver targeted pressure to your muscles and release tension quicker. The quicker they are loosened up and the less sore you feel, the quicker your body is fully recovered before your next workout. So for fast and active recovery, go with Recovapro!


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