What Does Active Recovery Actually Mean? How to Define a Recovery Ride or Run

What Does Active Recovery Actually Mean?

Active recovery means that you are actively working out during your recovery time. You are not just sitting around doing nothing! A good example would be if you were going to run, then you could do some sprinting and jumping jacks before running. Or maybe you have been lifting weights for a while and want to get back into it after a long break from it.

The point here is that you are actually getting physical activity in between your workouts. If you have been exercising for a long period of time, then you may need to increase the intensity and duration of your exercise sessions. Also, if you are recovering from any kind of injury, then it is best to keep up with your exercises even when you aren’t physically able to do so.

You might think that this sounds like something only bodybuilders do…but it isn’t! There are many other types of people who enjoy exercise. For instance, you might be a runner who enjoys the feeling of moving around while you run. You might also be someone who likes to play sports such as soccer or basketball.

Another type of person is someone who wants to lose weight and doesn’t want to go through the hassle of exercising every single day (or week). These people may prefer to do some sort of “active” exercise instead.

There are many different types of active exercises. They all range in difficulty and physical exertion. So, if you are someone who doesn’t want to exercise every single day, but still would like to keep up with your body then this is probably the best type of exercise for you!


Probably the easiest and most accessible type of physical activity is walking. Whether you’re walking around your neighborhood or taking a stroll in a nearby park, there are plenty of easy hikes that you can do. If you want to make it more challenging then you can always try hiking up a mountain or going on a long distance trip. You don’t need any special equipment either; just comfortable clothes and shoes.

If you need to, go to a local outdoors store and ask for tips and information.


What Does Active Recovery Actually Mean? How to Define a Recovery Ride or Run - Picture

Swimming is an excellent choice as well. It is great for cardiovascular exercise and it works out many parts of your body such as your arms and legs. You can swim in a pool or in open water such as a lake or ocean. You may need to purchase some swimming gear such as water shoes and a bathing suit.


Dancing is a great way to get some exercise. Again, you don’t need any special equipment and you can do it almost anywhere as long as you have plenty of space. Whether you want to dance by yourself or with friends, dancing can be a very fun and social way to get some exercise in. You can choose the type of dancing that you like whether it’s ballet, hip-hop, jazz, salsa, etc.

Just be sure that you are dancing at a speed and difficulty that is right for your skill level.

Rock Climbing

If you want to try something a little more adventurous, then rock climbing might be right up your alley. Although it can be very dangerous if proper safety procedures aren’t taken, it can also be a lot of fun. Just like swimming, you are going to need some special equipment such as a harness and carabineer. It is also a good idea to learn the proper techniques before attempting to climb a mountain.

Talk to experienced rock climbers for guidance.


Do you enjoy biking? Then why not incorporate it into your exercise routine?

Biking can be a great way to get in shape if you do it long enough and far enough. Biking is also very fun and allows you to explore new places. There are plenty of bicycles to choose from such as racing bikes, mountain bikes, and more. Just make sure that you know how to operate one properly before jumping on and heading down the street. If biking isn’t really your thing, then you can always go skiing or play hockey instead.

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Horseback Riding

This is another idea for people who like the outdoors. If you have access to a horse and some land to ride it on then you are in luck! Just like with biking you will need to know how to ride it properly before going very far. You should speak to a professional and learn all the proper techniques before riding a horse for the first time.

Also, be sure that the horse is tame enough that you are comfortable riding it. If you’re looking for something less dangerous then fishing may be more up your alley.


Do you like having wheels beneath your feet? Do you enjoy a little danger with your exercise?

Then blading may be just the thing for you. Although skates can be dangerous if you don’t know how to use them, they can also be a lot of fun. When blading it is best to find a quiet road or parking lot to practice on. That way you can avoid potentially dangerous situations.


Do you like Fish?

Then Fishing may be just the thing for you. You can go fishing alone or with a friend or you can even go on a fishing trip with your family. What you need to go fishing is a pole, some bait, and a little patience (or at least more patience than your little sister). If you don’t want to fish in a river or lake, then you can build a fish tank in your house and catch fish the old fashioned way.


This is pretty much the most basic form of exercise: Running. There isn’t too much thinking involved when it comes to running, and that’s why a lot of people like it. If you don’t have any equipment and there aren’t any courts or fields around, then running is a good way to get your exercise in. You can run on the road or on the sidewalk.

Be careful not to get run over by a car though; many joggers are killed every year after being hit by cars.

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Hero Training Tips

As a side note, I’ve found the best way to train is to run first thing in the morning. You’re fresh, you’ve had a full nights sleep, and its often a nice quiet time to think about the day ahead (so if you do think about Monsters appearing, you won’t look too crazy).

Also try running up and down hills, it works your leg muscles in different ways and provides a greater training effect.

And lastly, its okay to stretch before and after your run. This helps prevent injury which can prevent you from running which then can make you fat and unfit! So keep those muscles nice and limber.


Have you ever seen someone swim? They go up and down in the water right?

This is called Swimming. If you are a very good swimmer then you can try being a lifeguard. If you think you are a good swimmer then try swimming in a lake or at the beach. If you need extra gear then go to your local shop and get the necessary safety gear. If you want to be safe, get a helmet too!

Inline Skating

Do you like to Rollerblade?

Then try something new and try Inline Skates! It is very similar to rollerblading. If you have already mastered the art of rollerblades then mastering inline skates will be easy for you. For safety, just like with skateboarding, helmets should also be worn when inline skating.

Snow Skiing

Do you live in a cold snowy place?

If you said yes, then you’re in luck! You can go snow skiing! Just find yourself a mountain and some snow, then grab yourself skis and you’re all set. But remember if you go alone ask the owner of the mountain first. Also if you have friends that go snow skiing too, make sure that you all are safe and not going to ski out of bounds, or into unsafe places.

Snow Boarding

Do you like the idea of Snow Skiing, but you would rather ride down the mountain instead of sliding down on skis?

Then Snowboarding may be more your style! It is easier to learn than skiing since you just push with your feet instead of twisting your ankles to turn. However, be careful that you do not hit the ground to hard or else you may seriously break your legs. Also make sure that you wear a helmet and other safety gear too!


Do you like the great outdoors? Do you also like sleeping outside with no roof or walls around you?

Then why don’t you try camping! Just find yourself a nice, secluded place in the wilderness and set up a temporary camp there.

Sources & references used in this article:

What recovery means to us: Consumers’ perspectives by S Mead, ME Copeland – Community mental health journal, 2000 – Springer

A practical guide to recovery-oriented practice: Tools for transforming mental health care by L Davidson, M Rowe, J Tondora, MJ O’Connell… – 2008 – books.google.com

What does mindfulness really mean? A canonical perspective by B Bodhi – Contemporary Buddhism, 2011 – Taylor & Francis

100 ways to support recovery by M Slade – London: Rethink, 2009 – deskuul.nl