Most athletes, whether amateur or professional feel very comfortable training and competing constantly. This is what we do. However, it is important to remember that recovery can play a crucial role in our performance in the near and long term. Recovery protocols vary by sport and location, given the specific muscle groups and type of fatigue endured through your training regimen. I normally have one recovery day for six days of training. Below is a sampling of helpful recovery day activities to get you rejuvenated.
1) Eat healthy meals and maintain your normal sleep/eating cycle.
2) Hot/Cold Bath. Fill up your tub with Cold water and soak for 5 minutes. Repeat 3 times. This can also be done with one tub hot and another cold. Alternate between them. More than 70% of lactic acid produced by the body naturally pools in your legs. A Hot/Cold or Cold bath helps flush these metabolites out.
3) Stretch after a short walk.
4) Read or pursue your hobby or interest outside of competitive sports. I find this helps provide some balance and intellectual stimulation.
5) Enjoy time with family and friends.
6) Elevate legs above your chest/upper body. This exercise provides similar benefits as the Hot/Cold
7) Use a roller or other aid to loosen tendons and fascia.
7) Do something you've been neglecting when you were training.
These simple activities and exercises help me get the most out of recovery days. Use them to feel rejuvenated and ready for those next hard workouts.