Active Recovery

Throughout this guide, we will continually stress the importance of warming up, cooling down, and stretching. These are integral parts of any workout, regardless of the activity. The cool down, or recovery period, is very important because it will determine how you feel several hours after your workout. There are two types of recovery: active and passive. Passive recovery, in other words, just resting, was recommended many years ago, and is still recommended when you exercise below 50% of maximal capacity. Active recovery is now preferred for exercise exceeding 60% of maximal capacity to accelerate removal of lactate. This may help prevent muscle cramps, stiffness, and preserve performance during subsequent strenuous exercise.

Active recovery involves exercising at 30% to 50% of maximal capacity for 5 to 10 minutes after a strenuous workout.

Blood lactate removal after strenuous exercise is accelerated by active recovery: mild aerobic exercise.

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