If you want to stay active even on your rest day, try these low-impact workouts.

Feel great ? You’re not alone. Many find working out effective at sharpening their focus, clearing their mind, and beating stress. Developing a sculpted physique after all that gym time is just a bonus! But no matter how much you love that post-workout high, you still have to carve out a rest day.

Your body needs a rest day to repair itself between grueling workout sessions, especially when working out regularly. Rest allows you to come back stronger and see better results.

Contrary to popular belief, you won’t keep seeing results if you push your body to its limits daily. If you continue to subject yourself to extreme stress without rest, you may even reach a point where your progress plateaus, and you stop benefiting from your workouts.

Make sure to give your body enough time to recover by taking the occasional rest day. But if lying on the couch and watching Netflix all day is unappealing, try active recovery instead.

What Is Active Recovery?

Active recovery is also known as “active rest.” The term covers any movement or exercise that's less intense, slower, and lower impact than what you might engage in on your typical workout days.

Active recovery can involve light activities like yoga, leisurely walking, or slow jogging. Ideally, the effort you put into active recovery activities should be equivalent to 60-70% of your maximum effort.

Low-intensity exercises help boost recovery by increasing blood flow to your muscles and tissues. They also improve circulation and enable nutrients to reach your muscles more effectively.

Active recovery helps flush out waste, such as lactic acid build-up from exercise – the usual culprit behind sore muscles. Besides its physical benefits, it can offer a refreshing mental break from intense training.

4 Low-Impact Exercises for Your Rest Day

Ready to try out restful movement? Here are some low-impact active recovery exercises you can do on your rest day.

1. Tai chi

Tai chi classifies as a martial art, but its slow, therapeutic movements have gained them fans of all activity levels. Tai chi is ideal for building strength, balance, and total-body awareness.

There is a certain meditative quality to tai chi. That’s likely because its slow movements activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps the body slow down, calm itself, and recover from intense physical workouts and everyday stress.

A study in the Journal of Rheumatology showed that patients with arthritis experienced a reduction in pain and stiffness after a 12-week tai chi program. Whether you’re dealing with chronic pain or simply looking for an activity that can soothe muscles, you can turn to tai chi.

2. Yoga

There’s a reason yoga is one of the most popular wellness activities. The practice nurtures the mind, body, and soul. Aside from improving flexibility, it helps cool you down and manage stress through proper breathing techniques and body control.

Yoga also helps promote blood flow into the muscles, increasing oxygen and nutrient supply. As a result, broken-down tissues can repair themselves faster.

3. Swimming

Want to take a dip? Good news: swimming is perfect for low-impact cardio. Since the water gives you buoyancy, you can move around without placing pressure on your joints. It also allows you to stretch your body and move around in ways that wouldn’t be possible out of the water.

Swimming lets you use your muscles while keeping your joints relaxed. Meanwhile, being in the water helps improve circulation in muscles, blood vessels, and the heart.

4. Walking or running

around the neighborhood may not be as trendy as High Intensity-Interval Training (HIIT), but this oldie is still a goodie. Walking and light jogging let you engage in a classic steady-state cardio activity at a moderate, sustainable pace. These activities can still get your heart rate up and make you sweat. They also help build cardiovascular and .

Ensure you’re not over-exerting yourself by performing the talk test. If you can still hold a conversation without panting, then you're good. Fun idea: take a fellow fitness lover with you on a walking date around a scenic area!

How to Stay Fresh After Any Activity

After all, that time spent outdoors, your skin will need help recovering, too. Use POND'S Men Energy Charge Brightening Facial Wash to freshen up. This facial wash contains antioxidants from coffee bean extracts to repair stressed, sun-exposed skin. Cover your bases with Master Deep Cleanser Anti Pimple, which can pick up dirt, debris, and excess oil, helping you keep greasiness at bay for up to eight hours.

No matter the intensity of your workout, any amount of activity often leads to sweat and grease build-up, especially on your scalp. Shower with CLEAR Men Cool Sport Menthol Shampoo to get rid of residue. This menthol-infused shampoo washes away grime, grease, and dandruff while providing a fresh and cooling sensation.

Make your rest days count towards your fitness goals by trying low-impact activities that improve recovery, manage stress, and keep you motivated.