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What is an Active Rest Day?

Active rest may sound like a confusing term, but it is a real one with many benefits. So often people cannot find that middle area between resting and not resting. This is where active resting comes in. Rest days are very important for recovery. The main reason people do not like rest days is they feel they are days in which they need to lay in bed and not move or their gains would be hindered. This is not true.


When it comes to active resting, it means what it implies. You can still be active on days you are resting. Rest days are days off from what you usually would be doing, which is intense workouts. So, when you actively rest, you are taking a break from the intensity of your normal workout and going easy with some other form of working out that is much easier than what you would usually be doing.


Some forms of active resting include:

  • Cardio

Day off from lifting weights does mean a day off from doing anything. Great for weight loss goals. Get your cardio in and burn calories. 

  • Brisk walking

Go outside and walk for a good 15 minutes outside at a good pace. Moving the muscles is great for recovery.

  • Swimming

Depending on the time of year or if you have access to an indoor pool, swimming is an awesome form of active resting. By simply getting in the pool and moving around and moving muscles you usually don’t move, swimming provides a great way to keep blood flow accelerated all while not over exerting yourself.

  • Stretching

Stretching is an overlooked aspect in much of the fitness world. Stretching the muscles helps out with of course keeping flexibility in the muscles, but also helps out with keeping blood flow going which is imperative to recovery.

  • Extra-curricular activities

One could use their imagination on this one, but this includes just everyday life stuff. Playing with family, yard work, etc. Making sure that because it is a rest day from working out does not mean it is a rest day from life.


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