We are aware that post-exercise recovery is important for us to reap the benefits of exercises and to recover physically and mentally for the subsequent workout sessions. However, the next question is "how should we recover?"
There are generally 2 categories of recovery that we can use: Active and passive recovery. Passive recovery involves taking a complete break from your workouts. You can choose to laze around at home or go about your usual routines minus the exercise. Active recovery however, means working out at a lighter load/intensity/duration. A recovery workout means having a easy/light workout compared to your usual workouts. The type of workout can be similiar or different. For example, a lifter can choose to perform fewer exercises with a much lighter load OR just go for a swim/run/play sports etc on his active recovery days.
Given that each type has each pros and cons (read this article), how shall we decide which type to choose? It depends on several factors such as exercise frequency, intensity, duration/volume, type etc. For example, compare a training cycle of 1 week comprising of either 3 or 5 similiar workouts. You can choose to take 2 days off completely (passive recovery) for the 5 workouts/week compared to having 2 active days and 2 off days. It all depends on individual and other mitigating factors.
Active Versus Passive Recovery.Retrieved April 14, 2015, from http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/training/active-versus-passive-recovery.html/
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