Let me guess, you've worked hard all week, your meals were on point, you hit the gym everyday and once the weekend comes you kick back, relax and don't put on your running shoes until Monday?
I'm going to stop you right there and say this - one workout doesn't build you, but one too many missed will break you.
Giving your body sufficient time to rest is very important, but that does not have to mean stopping completely. I'm not saying to go bang weights at ham effort 7 days a week, I'm simply saying Balance.
When was the last time you went for a walk or hike instead of a jog? When was the last time you did yoga and used a foam roller? Or even did a proper stretch and cool-down after a workout?
So you go to the gym religiously for the most part of the week, but at what point do you decide, OK I need to give my body a break? Well, instead of going to the gym for weights I'm going to go for a hike, a walk, a swim, do some yoga.. etc on my off day, or at the end of my workouts in the gym.
Let me shed some light on the two main points of active recovery - after a workout and on an off day.
1. Active recovery at the end of a workout: ex. stretch, walk, light jog. Trying to lower your heart rate and body temperature by doing a simple 5 minute cool down by providing a sufficient transition from an intense workout to the resting stage. This also helps to redistribute blood to the heart in order to rid the muscles of lactic acid.
2. Active recovery on an "off" day: exercising at a lower intensity from your normal routine by giving your body a break from the stress of the intense workouts you've completed during the week.
Including walking, hiking, yoga, swimming etc..
For some, doing nothing on a rest day might benefit the individual and their goals. For others, like myself, I cannot do nothing so taking part in an outdoor activity or just doing yoga at home is how I spend an "off" day from the weights. As every individual is different and you know better than anyone what you may need, you should listen to your body when it needs a break and let yourself re-coop and be well rested in order to progress with your goals and deter yourself from a possible injury.
Stay active. Stay safe.
FOCUS. STRENGTH. DISCPLINE.