Active recovery is a form of low-intensity activity that helps you recover faster from your training. The idea is that instead of not doing anything on your non-workout days, you do something light to help your body flush out lactic acid from the muscles so that they are less sore.
Aside from that, doing this habit also allows you to burn some additional calories on your off days rather than do nothing, and helps you create a habit of doing something every day, which is great at helping you build momentum.
What constitutes ‘active recovery’ for an individual depends on their fitness level. What’s an active recovery for some may be a complete training program for another. So here’s a handy leveling system we created that may help you decide on an active recovery activity that is suitable for you:
Easy difficulty: walk, brisk walking, golfing, light dancing, or light swimming
Medium difficulty: jog, hike, or recreational sports like badminton or tennis, and some form of dancing that really gets the heart rate up. You can also consider beginner-level yoga
Hard difficulty: Interval running/HIIT/circuit training is good, or for competitive athletes light skillwork like practicing double unders or kettlebell swing techniques, or a full session of lifting weights with a light-weight or empty bar
So if you’re sore, doing this habit will help you far more than not doing anything completely :)
Easiest: Walk or light swimming
Medium: Jog, hike, or play a recreational sport like badminton, tennis, etc.
Hard: Interval running/light circuit training/skillwork like practicing double unders or kettlebell swings
Helps you recover faster
Do something rather than nothing
Gives you a habit of doing something every day
Do this because you love your body. Benefits of exercise is already so often mentioned and we all know that exercise helps us look better, be more confident, get healthier, stronger, and fitter.
A growing number of people also use exercise as a way to de-stress after a long day at work.
A full workout is defined as a session done with a specific intention:
Specific training gives specific benefits. Random training gives random benefits - some which you may not even need at all.
How much do you know about your fitness needs, and what are you doing to fulfill them? This habit allows you that room to ponder. So don’t just go to the gym and randomly select stuff to do - have a plan.
And it can be 60 minutes, 45 minutes, 30 minutes, or even 15 minutes...whatever it is, as long as you did a session with a specific intention, you can check this habit as ‘done’!
Defined as: a session which was done with the intention of getting something specific
Do a BadgerWOD, or
Do one of the workouts in the Bonus section, or
PT or gym class session
Because you can (you’re awesome like that)
Because you love your body
Helps make you look better, be healthier, get fitter
Let’s start this off by defining what’s strength training.
We mentioned earlier that a workout is a when done with specific intention. In the case of strength training, the intention is to increase strength & muscles, and there are three benefits to doing so:
1. Increasing basal metabolic rate (BMR):
BMR is a measure of how much calories you burn throughout a day when you do absolutely nothing. This is important because most people are actually lacks BMR. An increase of 150kcal means that you can burn a pound of fat every 24 days. At least until you hit a certain point in leanness. The primary contributor of BMR? Muscles.
2. Increasing work capacity:
When you are stronger, you also have the ability to do more within your workouts. This is important because imagine if you can do twice or three times the weights others are using, but you do equal or even more number of reps...using the same amount of time. If you want fat loss, having a higher work capacity increases your ability to burn calories during training.
3. Increasing durability:
Strength training increases bone strength and gross motor control. It means that in our old age we are less likely to have accidents, and even if we did there’s very less chance to hurt something. We are less frail when we are strong.
Aside from that, there’s a whole host of other benefits like resistance against conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and more. Look it up!
But strength training should be done right. Doing push ups doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing strength training - it just means you’re doing push ups. There are criterias to fulfill in order for something to qualify as good ‘strength training’:
Try this habit today.
Less than 2 minutes per set (push max)
Rest a minute or two between sets
Use progressive overload
Preferably compound movements
Every body part at least once a week
Increase work capacity
As awesome as strength training is, not everyone is fully prepared to go at it with the right intensity from the get-go. That’s because we’re all so used to sitting too much that so many muscles in our body is too tight to do things with the right posture.
This leads us to use scale-down versions of exercises that are decent to start, but not as effective.
To eventually solve this, we must constantly work on our range of our mobility and weaknesses - and that’s the gist of this habit.
Accessory exercise are things that you do to reinforce weak parts of your body. Areas which may prevent you from doing certain movements optimally.
Mobility work are things you do for tight muscles. This can come in the form of stretches, trigger points massage, or simply foam rolling those spots.
Any good fitness program should include accessory and mobility work - not just exercise, exercise, exercise. Because the more exercise we do, the more support we’ll need in terms of mobility.
HBCF clients have customized pre/post-workout routines to help in this area. If you’re not training at our facility, you can enroll yourself for an assessment with a qualified trainer and see if you can get a routine to help you work on these areas.
Stretch or foam roll
Focus on the muscles just worked
Spend more time on tight muscles
Remain injury free
Increase range of motion
Increase flexibility, allowing you to do movements better (so you can increase intensity of training)