Why we love active rest days
It may sound like a paradox, but active rest is key to a balanced lifestyle and an effective training programme. That’s why Chōsen creates active holidays that help you unwind and optimize performance at the same time. The active rest days featured in our itineraries are designed around the perfect Sunday. Here we explore the benefits of (as well as the science behind) such not-so-lazy days by the pool, that can be enjoyed as part of your weekly routine.
Eat Well, Rest Well
We are more aware of the food we eat when we exercise, so a rest day is not an excuse to over-indulge or to cut down on nutrient-rich meals.Breakfast as a baseThe effects of a workout last for a day or more, and the body needs nutrients to replenish. A protein-rich breakfast is a great start, helping you to build lean muscle.
Recover and Restore
Muscles need recovery time to benefit from exercise; to repair and return to peak performance.The key to maximizing the benefits of active rest is to slow down the pace and drop the intensity of exercise, helping your body to relax. This is an opportunity to prioritize low-impact activities that you might neglect during a busy week.Extra Yoga TimeWhether you are an aspiring yogi or a more casual sun-saluting type, an active-rest day is a chance for a longer, more-gentle session, and to enjoy the healing benefits. Try a 90-minute hot or yin yoga routine. Adding 15-30 minutes to your usual practice can challenge your mind by holding your focus longer.Self Myofacial ReleasePerformed on a simple foam roller or a small roller ball, Self Myofacial Release is one of the most rewarding and effective techniques for muscle recovery. Through gentle rolling, it helps with mobility and muscle pain by relaxing contracted muscles, also improving blood circulation and stimulating the lymphatic system to aid detox.
Balance Your Nervous System
High-intensity exercise stimulates the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) that is responsible for the fight-or-flight response, and the same part of the nervous system affected by stress. While the benefits help the brain’s learning process and help you stay alert, it is imperative to ensure that the nervous system is balanced, and that the other part – the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), responsible for rest and digestion – is also consciously activated. The results are better overall energy levels and improved quality of sleep.Breathing techniques and mindfulness exercises shift focus to the PNS and help in its activation.Just breatheTake one minute to inhale and exhale as slowly and methodically as possible. Sitting, standing or lying down, inhale as far down into the lungs and exhale as fully as possible. This one-minute wonder can be called upon as many times throughout the day as you need.Cultivate mindfulnessOne of our favorite mindfulness activities is to consciously notice more around you. Asking yourself questions such as ‘What color is the sky today?’ or ‘What kind of flower is that?’ help enliven yours senses and allow you to see the world with fresh perspective.
Know Your Downtime
Managing stress is different for everyone. Some people prefer relaxing with family and friends, while others cherish time alone. The key to knowing what replenishes you is self-awareness.Be conscious of your needs, notice your energy levels and understand what is right for you.If you feel at your best when playing beach volleyball with friends, take the lead to organize regular activities. If time in the park with a book is all you need to get back to your happy self, there’s no guilt in saying no to social commitments from time to time.Ultimately, we’re all for slowing down, simply so we can speed up again!