Three Rest Day "Workouts" To Enhance Recovery
Anna and I LOVE staying active. I played organized sports growing up and as an adult I quickly transitioned into a workout enthusiast, getting involved with everything from teaching yoga to training for a triathlon and various fitness classes such as soul cycle, kickboxing, and barre. You name the fitness craze I have likely tried it. Working out for me has been always been a tool to develop mental discipline. It is physical activity that forces me to push my physical limits, so I can push my mental ones as well. That being said I am very competitive with myself and need to be careful not to over train. The age old "less is more concept" applies to training regimens. Rest days are actually implemented in many professional training plans, even those of top Olympic athletes, in order to allow the body time to recuperate. Some surely use their rest days as an opportunity to watch Netflix and binge on cheat foods, but many of todays fitness elites (and those who aspire to be them) are seeking out rest-day workouts designed to make their minds and bodies stronger, and more effective for everyday training. Here are three rest day workout trends everyone is buzzing about...
1) Flotation Therapy
Flotation is therapy in which the person lies in a dense Epsom salt water solution in a tank (pod/room) that has been specially-designed for this. It is an incredible and highly-effective way of relaxing and relieving stress. This is a very widely-accepted therapy and is used by a number of world-renowned athletes to treat various sports-related conditions and aid in their recovery. It is also beneficial for those who don’t play any sports but want to better manage the stresses in their system.
The therapy formally known as a sensory deprivation ( feeling like the name change for sure helped with PR) has been practiced for many years but has recently been increasing in popularity as more and more professional athletes have started to use the therapy to aid in recovery: the New England Patriots reportedly purchased two tanks, Stephen Curry swears by it, and several members of the Dallas Mavericks float regularly. With the increase in popularity there are now over 300 studios in the U.S.
The different benefits of using flotation therapy are....
- Accelerates the recovery from injury
- Increases energy (ATP)
- Ideal space for visualization
- Boosts the immune system
- Reduces Lactic acid levels in the body
- Aids in facilitated rest, improving athletes exposure to fatigue
Described as the most hardcore ice bath off all time think winter – on super steroids. Temperatures are minus 141 degrees Celsius or, put another way, 228 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. The treatments last just a couple of minutes and uses nitrogen gas delivered in a cryosauna to deliver freezing temperatures. The body’s short exposure, ranging only between 2-3 minuets, is said to speed speed muscle recovery.
The therapy has been a tool of elite athletes for years, but has since become popular with celebrities and fitness enthusiasts looking to try the next craze. Cryotherapy has grown in the mainstreamthanks to its strong celebrity following. Outside of athletes such as Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, celebrities such as the Kardashians, Real Housewives' Yolanda Hadid and Jessica Alba have shared their cryotherapy experiences on social media.
The Benefits of Cryotherapy......
Cryotherapy was originally developed in Europe as a way to manage fibromyalgia and other types of chronic pain. Users have since reported greater benefits, including alleviation of depression and insomnia. I can tell you from personal experience you receive quite a rush similar to that of a post workout high As the treatment has grown in popularity this chilly, non-invasive process is now being used to treat a host of aliments:
- Stress management
- Cellulite reduction
- Medtabolic Enhancement
- Muscle Recover
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Boost Collagen
3) Anti-Gravity Cocooning
Combining two key aspects of rest days: meditation and sleep, anti-gravity cocooning classes encourage students to barely move a muscle.The 45 minute class takes participants through basic stretching and mobility sequences before placing them into the Cocoon for a guided meditation. Launched at Crunch Gym in NYC in January, the class takes place entirely in sling-style hammocks hung from the ceiling, with dimmed coloured lighting and soft music to enhance relaxation. The first half includes light stretching and yoga poses, followed by guided relaxation and sleep. While many US gyms, including 24-hour Fitness and Equinox, have meditation programming on their schedules, the combination of light movement and relaxation hammocks has put this particular class in high demand.
The Benefits of Cocooning....
It's a relaxation for the body and mind. It restores mental clarity, calms the nervous system, and helps to increase mobility and range of motion. It's also a great way to release tension and restore health after an intense workout or heavy lifting session. According to the National Sleep Foundation, research shows that naps can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents. A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness 100%. Naps can increase alertness in the period directly following the nap and may extend alertness a few hours later in the day. A 15 minute nap can make up for a poor night’s sleep.