There isn’t a person on the planet who hasn’t started to become active after having been relatively sedentary for a while, and who feels very proud of getting back into it, only to experience muscle stiffness and soreness the next day. This can make it difficult just to get out of bed, let alone to get on with a workout.
Though it is reassuring that the soreness of the muscles means that you have definitely been working them through your exercises, it is far from comfortable. Thus begins the debate between taking time off from a workout or trying to power through it in some other way. This is the difference between a passive form of workout recovery and an active one. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t just a straight “yes” or “no” for everyone.
It’s important to learn a little bit about how to properly go about an active workout recovery before you begin it. That way, you can decide whether or not it is appropriate for you and you can understand how you should go about doing it. When in doubt, it is always a good idea to speak with a doctor or a personal trainer. That way, you can be more sure that you are making the right choices for your unique needs and expectations.
On the days that follow an intense workout, the odds are that you are the most sore in the areas that you have been using for the first time in a while. Moreover, the times of soreness are usually the worst after periods of being sedentary, such as after lying in bed overnight or when you have been sitting in a chair for hours at work. That said, you may notice that when you move around a little bit, things start to loosen up and hurt less.
In this type of situation, gently moving, getting the blood circulating and warming up the muscles can ease that soreness and encourage faster workout recovery. That said, an active recovery, that is resting actively from a workout, can be a very good intermediate time between actual workouts. This does not involve getting into more high intensity workouts. Instead, it means that you should exercise at a low-intensity level that will allow for motion and blood circulation, without adding any more strain to the muscles that have been overused. This will be beneficial to your health, fitness, recovery, comfort level and even calorie burning.