The Benefits of Active Recovery for Athletes

The harder you train, the harder you need to focus on recovery. This is a crucial aspect of peak performance for beginners and professionals alike. Athletic recovery has come a long way since the days of science simply telling athletes to take it easy or sleep to recover. This is now known as passive recovery, but active recovery is actually a far more effective method. New protocols are now being used to get athletes back to their peak fitness levels in record times.

As science has progressed, heavy focus has been placed on recovery in the world of sports. Sports science centre’s now have highly specialised departments for it, and even Olympic training centres are turning to active recovery techniques. These range from proper hydration methods to ‘contrast baths’.

Understanding Passive Recovery

Passive recovery involves doing as little as possible and allowing your body to take its time to recover physically and mentally. You would normally nap, watch TV, or play Australian slots online for a few days in this scenario.

You don’t need to avoid passive recovery; in fact, there are definitely some days on which you need a total rest to recover. Sometimes, taking a proper break is also far better for your body than overloading it. However, it is important to understand that prolonged periods of passive recovery can in fact set you back.

What Is Active Recovery?

Active recovery involves doing a form of physical activity to promote recovery and physical regeneration. This allows you to recover from the strains of training while avoiding high peaks and falls in your performance and fitness levels.

There are so many good reasons to add active recovery to your training regimen. For example:

  • Active recovery decreases muscle pain and stiffness. As you move around, this will help to reduce build-up of lactic acid in your muscles and promote quick healing.
  • It improves your mobility. As you get stronger, you could lose some mobility in your body. Active recovery offsets this by increasing the range of motion for each muscle.
  • It enhances your fitness. Active recovery can quicken recovery of your muscles and nervous system, particularly if you choose aerobic exercises.

How to Develop a Recovery Program

There are so many different ways to create an active recovery program. It is important to choose a regime and exercises that suit your goals and your needs. Choose lightweight exercises that are not too vigorous, and stick to your goals.

It’s recommended that you use mainly multi-joint compound exercises through a complete range of motion. This promotes circulation and blood flow while reducing muscle stiffness and restoring your motility for your next training session, only with less training percentage load!

Even yoga, massaging, stretching and foam rollers can be used to get you back on your feet as soon as possible. Depending on your level of fitness, active recovery sessions should last for between 20 and 45 minutes. Your choice of activity will depend on the sports you enjoy, so be sure to choose something that appeals to you too!