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Active recovery helps to decrease delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS is that soreness you feel the day or maybe even two or three days after intense exercise. The pain you feel is inflammation due to the influx of nutrients and fluids in your muscles to help repair the microtrauma caused by working out.
Active recovery is a low-intensity, integrated dynamic movement completed after a high-intensity workout. Engaging in active recovery helps to remove metabolic waste caused by exercise from your muscles. Metabolic waste is the main culprit of soreness produced during an intense workout. As you participate in a form of active recovery, blood flow increases in your muscle tissue which flushes the waste out of your muscles. A decrease in waste results in a reduction in DOMS.
There are various forms of active recovery including walking, jogging, cycling, and dynamic stretching. Here is a full list:
- Aqua Jogging
- Dynamic Stretching
- Light Weight Lifting
The important thing is that the activity is not strenuous for you. It should be an easy workout in order to boost recovery. Active recovery days should be active recovery days, don’t overtrain. Try out these different methods to see which ones work best for you!