Active rest days should be any day on which you're not doing your sweaty sessions. These days are important to enable you to recover fully from your sweaty sessions, to avoid injury, and to stay fresh and focused on your goals. They also make sure that you are able to give enough intensity to those sweaty sessions when you
What can you do as active rest?
Ensure you have a selection of 'active rest activities' that you can draw upon on these days. Keep things fun, social, and fun in that order; examples could include:
- walking with friends or the dog
- physically playing outdoors with the kids
- any low level social sport
- cycling (non racing)
Active rest days are best diarised as part of your ideal routine for the week. Give them set times just like with your sweaty sessions. This will increase the chance of them being done, and reduce the chance of hearing yourself say at the end of the weekend "I just ran out of time" or "we were just too busy".
You might leave cues around the house to help trigger the habits. Things like always wash your togs Wednesday night ready to wear to the pool on Friday. Or, hang the dog lead on the fridge door so the second you get home in the evening you can grab it (instead of raiding the fridge) and walk your best friend.
But could I be over-training?
Our bodies are made to move, and to move often. Don't be fooled into thinking the 2 sessions a week on the exercycle is going to lead to overtraining. Overtraining usually results from a combination of things - too much training + not enough recovery + insufficient nutrition + too little sleep. So a lot of stuff has to go wrong before this occurs. If you do find yourself at this stage some complete rest days might be needed until you feel fresher.
Christmas belly VS. Activity
The holiday season is the perfect time to put these fun activities into play, with plenty of down time spent outdoors. Time spent with painful relatives and family you can only deal with drunk, can be made more pleasurable by getting out together in the fresh air.
Now get out there and keep active. Move everyday. Just like nature intended.