Rest days are important to let your muscles recover from all the high-intensity workouts from the previous week. Not getting enough time to rest your muscles, simply doubles your chances of injury and chronic fatigue. But rest days don’t have to necessarily mean being sedentary and out of action. There are a few activities that don’t put pressure on the joints but still offer a good calorie burn. In fact, not only will you be getting a good workout but these exercises also protect your body and encourage repair and growth at the same time. Here are a few exercises that will add variety in between your intense workouts and aid in reinforcing your muscle memory and endurance.
It’s often called the perfect alternative to running as it’s a great way to get that feeling of being outside and adds to your fitness without adding any extra stress to your joints and shins. Whether it’s a bike ride outdoors, a spin class or just your stationary gym cycle, cycling can really shake things up and is kind to your joints. In fact, the lower stress on your knees will help them recover from your more intense days.
The swimming pool is often used as a means of recovery by many runners and gym goers, especially when the water is cold. Thanks to the natural resistance, you get to stretch your muscles a lot more. And you don’t even need to swim. Just a few water walking reps or underwater squats are a great way to condition muscles and build extra strength. Doing bodyweight exercises underwater is akin to doing them with weights. Or you could hold on to the pool steps or edge and sweep your feet behind you. This offers a great stretch for glutes, adductors, and your hamstring.
This one combines dance, yoga, Tai Chi, and gymnastics, and sounds completely alien. But this is a super effective routine that doesn’t require any equipment – except a simple mat. Designed by celebrity trainer and professional dancer, Lisa Marie Goodwin-Rice, it is especially effective in increasing circulation, opening the chest muscles – i.e giving them a stretch which also improves your lung capacity in return. It also contributes to improving posture, relieving back tension, enhancing functional movement, toning your arms, abs, obliques and back, legs, and glutes in a short amount of time. You can effectively finish a gyrokinesis set in less than 20 minutes.
Those who practice yoga regularly will find that it makes a tremendous positive impact on your posture, balance, and stability. These three things help you maximize your workout. But yoga asanas are not just about helping you achieve balance – it can be used to promote strength and flexibility in your joints as well.
Most poses involve some level of flexing of muscles, which automatically increases the flexibility of your joints. And this makes a difference to your form and concentration during extended workouts and long-distance runs. It also protects against injuries and muscle pulls, which makes yoga a great recovery routine after running or the gym.