Recovery is a necessary component of any complete golf fitness training program. There are two kinds of recovery you can practice: a complete recovery day and an active recovery day.
Active Recovery Day vs. Full Rest Days
Active recovery means being active while also allowing your body proper recovery time between more challenging workouts. Active recovery days are ideal for athletes looking to improve performance. Traditional recovery, on the other hand, really means not doing anything and taking a full day off – what we refer to now as a complete rest day. Active recovery keeps you moving to promote blood flow to your muscles while still maintaining a low heart rate during the activity of choice.
Coach Joey D has some great examples of active recovery days, including simple exercises you can do at home. If you workout hard on Monday, Wednesday and Friday – perhaps doing high-intensity interval training, for example – Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday may be your complete rest days. Sunday would then be an ideal day to choose an active recovery activity, such as light or casual biking, walking, swimming or foam rolling to get your blood flowing and work out some of the lactic acid if you’re sore.
Keep in mind, your threshold, or your output, should not be high at all! This is not the day to worry about intense exercise or burning too many calories, but movement is a good thing. KEY CONCEPT: LIGHT IS RIGHT!
Active Recovery Tips
On the days you choose to do an active recovery workout, pay particular attention to your breathing and your heart rate. Notice how you are feeling. Discover how “body aware” you can be.
Recovery time is also tremendously affected by what you put into your body throughout the week. Did you stay hydrated enough? Did you get enough rest? When you give your body the proper essentials for a positive outcome, you have a much better chance of success. These include things such as water, minerals, whole foods, and 7-8 hours of sleep minimum per night.
Active recovery is crucial for all athletes of every fitness level seeking to improve their game and goals. Find a low-intensity, physical activity that you enjoy. Maybe that’s playing with your kids in the front yard or light house chores. Whatever it may be, get creative with your equipment and be consistent with your training!