Active Rest - FIT Human Performance

Active Rest


November 25, 2017 –

I can’t say that every day I hear someone say “I’m SO sore” but it is rather frequent.  With a genuine understanding that Christmas and New Years is less than 2 months away many of my clients are training an extra time each week.  IF they have been away from resistance training for a few weeks or worse yet, months, the first thing I hear on their next visit is “I’m SO sore”.  So what is the best thing you can do to avoid or endure soreness or extreme pain?  Active Rest!  Not just rest.

We all need time to decompress and take a load off our feet, absolutely!  After a intense workout, when you know in your mind “oh my god, that was challenging and now I know I’m going to be sore”, the great news is that you are in touch with your brain and realize when your muscles have been worked and are tires.  The brain is also telling you at this point to rest those muscles.

Today’s brain would not say, totally turn those muscles off and let them lie dormant for the next few days, but rather to use them. This is what we call ACTIVE REST.  Lunges are not active rest.  Push-ups are not active rest.  Moving furniture around the house is … you guessed it, not active rest.

So what is Active Rest?

Active rest is moving your body and using those muscles in a fun, relaxed way that does not develop stress to the bones or soft tissues that move them.  In other words, doing the simple stuff.  So, what are some examples of active rest?

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Yoga
  • Light cycling
  • Comfortable stretching or foam rolling
  • Calisthenics
  • Light weight training
  • Kite flying

Plopping down on the sofa for several hours is not active rest.  Wathcing TV is not active rest.  And sleeping is not active rest.  A client arrived yesterday “totally sore all over!”  No problem, we started with some light stretching and moved on to functional multi-joint movement patterns to actively-release the tight muscles.  And indeed after the workout, when I asked what the level was of her muscle pain?  She smiled and with happily said “you fixed me, no pain!”. Stop by and earn your active rest!

Don’t be in misery, move every day to take pain away!

In good health,


“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” – Lou Holtz