Forgive me for covering such a SEXY topic today.
But at the risk of turning you on and preventing you from focusing on anything else all day…
Let’s talk about recovery workouts, baby.
You see, it’s great to be active. And it’s also important to periodically push your limits and see what you’re capable of. Because after a certain point, you’re only going to improve your fitness by overloading your system.
The key here is that we don’t want to do this every day. Because at a certain point, we’ll see progress going backwards.
That said, it IS a good idea to be active every day. And this is why I love programming in “recovery workouts.”
For one thing, it lets you keep up the habit. For some people, it’s easier to workout every single day than a few days a week. And that can totally be a solid way to go, so long as you’re not hitting it hard day after day after day. Recovery workouts allow you to stay in your habit groove, WITHOUT beating up your joints or impairing your fitness.
In fact, recovery workouts can promote, well… err… recovery. By elevating your heart rate, getting your blood flowing, and moving your joints, you can actually promote faster recovery.
So what’s the best way to get in recovery workouts?
1) Go for a long brisk walk outside.
Long time readers know your author is a big fan of the restorative power of walking. Walking does all sorts of awesome things for your body AND your brain.
In fact, the step counters in our smartphones is one of my all time favorite pieces of fitness tech. If you don’t have physical activity built into your professional pursuits or personal lifestyle, adding in a daily walk can have massive return per time invested.
For bonus points, up the fun factor; make phone calls to loved one, listen to podcasts, or my favorite of all, get outside in nature.
NOTE: While leisurely walks are always awesome, for this to count as an actual active recovery “workout,” keep the pace brisk.
2) Vary up your movement portfolio with different modalities.
In addition to monitoring intensity, different forms of movement and exercise can do wonders for your overall fitness.
Not only does it give you a mental break from your day-to-day training sessions, but it can expose your body and joint systems to different movement inputs. This lets you stay active but reduces the chance of overuse injuries.
Examples here could be going for a long bike ride, taking a random (non-high intensity) fitness class, exploring a lower intensity version of yoga, or playing some casual sports with friends. Just keep in mind that to keep these sessions in the “recovery zone,” you’ll want to monitor your intensity and don’t let it creep.
3) Do a light bodyweight only workout interspersed with mobility exercises.
This can be an awesome addition to your weekly movement diet, though per above, you’ll need to prevent yourself from getting carried away.
If you go this route, you can use a heart rate monitor to keep an eye on your intensity. Alternatively, you can do the workout with your mouth closed. This will function as a self-limiting valve to prevent you from going too hard.
If you’re already pretty active and a student of contemporary mobility drills, you can put together a casual playful “flow.” Simply move between different mobility and movement drills and easy bodyweight exercises.
And if you want more guidance?
And you workout at a REALLY COOL UNICORN GYM? 🙂
You could even do your typical preferred fitness activity and just dial back the intensity. I want to reiterate, this can be harder than it sounds, as it’s surprisingly difficult to reel yourself back in a group environment. But if you’ve got the discipline to not overdo it, this can be a powerful way to keep up daily consistency, get some coaching and guidance, but still get the benefit of a recovery workout.
In the fitness performance world, it’s sometimes said that “there’s no such thing as overtraining, only under-recovering.”
By adding in more recovery workouts to your week, you’ll benefit from the win-win-win of more total weekly activity, healthier joints, and improved performance in your more aggressive workouts.
PS Want some guidance on how to balance higher intensity training with dedicated recovery workouts?
We can help!
Below are two no-commitment ways to get the party started with your ol’ pals at MFF:
- Sign up for our no-commitment totally free week of at-home, virtual Homebody Classes HERE
- Sign up for our in-person 28-day Ninja Academy trial HERE