Rest is one of the most important points of any training program, no question. Athletes often complain about fatigue, having no energy and feeling tired. Which begs the question are they ‘over-trained’ or ‘under-recovered?’ (Whatever those two terms mean). People from both schools of thought will argue about over-training and under-recovering until the cows come home and to be honest I can’t supply a definition of what is what, exactly. But I do know, from personal experience, and visual eye-witness accounts that active rest is the best way to help your body recover from hard training and/or competition.
Studies show that low intensity exercise after hard exercise helps to reduce lactic acid levels held in the working muscles by 30-50%. Another study showed that low-intensity work helps psychologically also by improving the athletes ability to relax after strenuous activity. Moreover, this low-intensity work can not only help an athlete straight after a ‘hit-out’ but also on their rest days. Quite often you will hear people talking about the recovery run or bike ride. Again this use of muscles helps to promote blood circulation, break down lactic acid and speed up recovery. There’s not enough time to ‘wait’ for soreness to go away you have to chase it away. Get your active rest on.