It’s hard to believe; sometimes the best thing you can do for those super sore muscles is to workout. We call it “active recovery.”
I know how it is — You worked out really hard and your legs hurt, all you can bear to do is to lay on the couch because it hurts to walk or even get out of a chair. The problem with not doing anything is that you’re not encouraging oxygenated blood to flow through those taxed muscles. With that, the stiffness (metabolic waste or muscle pooh as I like to call it) will take even longer to find it’s way out, allowing the spunk to come back into your legs.
The general theory is that your muscles grow and get stronger while you rest, not while you’re working out. I believe that. Work out hard, then let your body repair itself becoming stronger while you “rest.” However, when I say “rest” I don’t mean sit on the couch and do nothing. I mean actively recover.
Active recovery workouts are low intensity and low volume workouts in which the goal is to get blood into the muscles to enhance recovery. In addition, active recovery loosens up stiff muscles allowing them to perform even better the next time you tax them.
An active recovery workout really just means to keep moving, be active. Go for a long walk, easy jog, take a yoga class, go for a spin on the bike, play with the kids, just keep moving and have some fun. You can lay around when you’re sleeping (or dead as some like to say).
P.s. Same rule applies for a hangover. Keep moving to cleanse the body of those yummy toxins.