At Celebration CrossFit, we strive to make an ever-lasting change in your lifestyle habits. That’s why we not only focus on exercising, but we also care about your nutrition, lifestyle and recovery. Ideally, we would like to see all of those factors in sync: healthy nutrition, good recovery and regular exercising leading to a healthy lifestyle. But, like we mentioned last week, over 90% of your week is spent outside the gym. To have a healthy lifestyle, you must also change what you do when you are not working out.
If we workout hard for an hour a day, but go home to bad food, poor sleep and bad habits, exercise is acting more like a band-aid for health concerns than a long-term cure. We would still be getting the benefits of training but we wouldn’t be really living a healthy life. If you struggle with nutrition and sleep make sure you check out our post with tips on how to improve that. Also, we discussed how helpful foam rolling can be. Today, I will focus on the days that you do not workout and how to make those days part of your healthy lifestyle.
Active vs Passive Recovery
There are two ways to recover: actively and passively. Most people are familiar with the latter. It is the absence of exercise. The problem is that, along with the absence of exercise, passive recovery days usually bring more time sitting in front of the tv, more food (worse quality) and worse sleep habits. Right away, I think of weekends. People worked hard (and worked out hard) all week and they are ready to enjoy the weekend. When this happens it is usually tough to pick things back up on Monday, and it is also harder to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It has been proven that people go off a diet and sleep less on days they do not exercise.
Recovery happens anytime you are not putting stress on your body, physically or mentally. So even on the days that you do workout, spending a lot of time sitting after it can be detrimental. If there were a lot of squats, for example, make sure you spend some time foam rolling, stretching or walking, during that day. It will minimize the after-effects of soreness the next day. It will also make sure you stay active during the day and burn a few extra calories! Active recovery days are just like that but on a bigger scale.
Active recovery days are meant to aide your recovery while keeping you active and in the healthy lifestyle. It’s a time to enjoy your fitness and hard work and take it outside the gym. It is a way to truly appreciate the healthy decisions you’ve made so far. Active recovery days’ activities include leisure exercises that you wouldn’t think of as a workout. It can also be a family activity, which would not only help you physically but it would involve all your loved ones as well.
Doesn’t have to be swimming laps freestyle. Just move in the pool. Play with your kids. Toss a ball around.
Take the family and enjoy a picnic after a hike. Breathe in the fresh air, enjoy the landscape, soak in the sun.
Take your dog for a longer walk. Visit a new place, park your car and walk around. Go to a park.
Great way to move and stretch at the same time. Be mindful. Breathe.
Take the family with. Go to a park or bike downtown. Feel the sun and breeze on your skin.
Also can be a family activity. The pinnacle of fitness. Learn and play different games. Have fun.
There are times for passive recovery and there are times for active recovery. Make sure you are balancing them so you can have a healthy lifestyle. It is easy and fun to plan a family activity that will get everybody active and enjoying the outdoors. Fitness is a lifestyle we want everybody to be fond of.
by Coach Matt