Interval training can be hard on your body. Regularly pushing past your comfort zone is tough on joints and muscles.
Often times the best way to recover from a tough workout is by scheduling a steady-state (recovery) cardio workout. A recovery cardio workout is the perfect compromise to taking an off-day when you’re muscles are screaming at you. In fact, light cardio can actually help repair and soothe the muscles.
How to Choose a Recovery Cardio Workout Pace
The goal of a recovery cardio workout is to keep your heart rate at a moderate zone for a sustained period of time. It’s not about testing limits, it’s about recovery. In fact, some people find steady-state cardio meditative (ever heard someone say running is their therapy?).
The best way to decide what moderate intensity means for you is to take the talk test. This will vary depending on your fitness level. Generally, if you can carry on a light conversation while exercising, you’re at a moderate pace. If you’re fit, this may mean you struggle a bit at the end of each sentence.
6 Recovery Cardio Workout Ideas
Not sure where to start? Here are a few recovery cardio workout ideas to choose from:
Jog. Remember, moderate pace. No sprinting!
Walk. Walking at a steady pace, on an incline, is a great recovery exercise.
Seated row. Sit down and row your way to recovery.
Bike. Think flat terrain.
Dance it out. I know what you’re thinking, but dancing is a great steady-state, cardio exercise. You can burn between 500-1,000 calories in a Zumba class and have fun while doing it.
Hop on the elliptical. Again, it can’t be overstated, your goal is a moderate activity level. Go overboard on the resistance or speed and your working against muscle recovery.
So if you're planning a long run this weekend, then follow it up the next day with some easy cardio, like a slow jog, or easy elliptical workout. Slow and steady has it’s place in every fitness routine.
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