We exist to aid the individuals we come in contact with towards being strong and feeling great (two things that none of us feel every single day). The specific area we focus on is Exercise. Recently we have been focusing on the dynamics and variables that affect a persons “success” from exercise (that can be defined by your particular perspective)(but we will say the increase of proficiency and strength of your body and its systems).
Lets take a look at “Active Rest”. What it is, why it’s important, and how it’s executed.
Yes active rest seems like an oxymoron. We must first understand and acknowledge the fact that exercise results (increase of proficiency and strength of your body and its systems) do not come during your exercise but rather after your exercise (in the “recovery process”). We must also specify that exercise is movement but not all movement is exercise (per the last thought we left with on our prior blog post).
When learning the principles of exercise physiology you find that exercise results must be first prompted by a stimulus (exercise) that is a progressive overload (exercise that is too hard for our body/targeted muscles systems). This overload then prompts our amazing body to adapt! This adaption process (process of getting results) takes time and resources (oxygenated blood flow, hormones, and nutrients).
Simply moving your body does not prompt this change towards “Results”, but it does drain resources from your body. There must be an overload (exercise by definition)… that is the communication, then a recovery from that overload leads to “Results”
Most people looking for results from exercise will now naturally think… “Well then how do I maximize my recovery process to yield the best results”?
There are many components to an effective recovery process. Lets take a look at “Active Rest”.
Active rest simply means that between your exercise sessions you are MOVING. Not sitting still in a bed or chair the entire time. Lets break down the term, active, being the term that expresses movement, rest, being the term that expresses its not exercise (an overload).
Active rest is vital to recovery results because partaking in low intensity movement based activities will allow you to replenish the resources used in exercise by delivering oxygenated blood flow, hormones, nutrients as well as new resources to the recovering areas.
Being stagnant between exercise sessions will lead to slower recovery, stiffness, longer and greater soreness, and even a reduction in results. No one wants any of the previously stated.
What is active rest or low intensity movement based activities. Simple. You name it, any activity where you are moving your body at a low to moderate intensity. Walking is a great example. We suggest picking recreational activities that allow you to spend time with love ones and friends instead of forcing yourself to the gym’s treadmill or bike (unless you enjoy those things).
Examples of active rest:
· Light swimming
Exercise and Active Rest feed off each other. Active rest aids you in getting the best results from your Exercise and successful exercise makes you stronger, more injury resistant, and proficient at your active rest movements!
Be informed. Make sure your exercise is of a high enough intensity to prompt progressive overload and understand that results come in the recovery process. So focus on low-moderate movement between exercise sessions to increase blood flow and nutrient delivery to the recovering tissues and systems.
Have an excellent Friday and my positive thoughts to all of you for days filled with meaning, smiles, purpose, and relief.