Active Rest Day Ideas

April 19, 2017
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Active rest day sounds like an oxymoron because that is exactly what it is.  When you are in the middle of a challenge, or working out 6-7 days a week, your body needs rest.  Here are some of my favorite, productive active rest day ideas that doesn’t include Netflix.

Stretch/ practice yoga

Reward your muscles for working hard all week and stretch them out! There are many free videos you can find online with free yoga routines, or you can check out my stretching routines.  Most yoga studios offer your first class free, so take a free class at a local studio.

Go for a walk

Grab your fur baby or your favorite tunes and go for a long walk.  Walking gets your heart rate up, without over-exhausting yourself. If the weather isn’t great outside, head to your closest mall and do several laps.  Take the stairs instead of the escalators.

Play disc golf

Disc golf is a great low-impact sport that is great for an active rest day.  Walk from basket to basket and work on your disc throwing skills.  You get fresh air and a great walk, usually through trees.


Clean your house from top to bottom.  Not only will you have a clean house, but you will get in plenty of steps to make your active rest day worthwhile. If your house is already clean, go outside and wash your car or clean up the flower beds.


Another great way to spend an active rest day is to swim.  Swimming is low impact on your muscles because of the weightlessness.  It strengthens muscles and is easy on your joints.

Ride a bike

Go for a bike ride in your neighborhood or a nearby park.  If the weather isn’t great, find a cycling studio or gym with a stationary bike you can use.  Like swimming, cycling gets your heart rate up without

Foam roll

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It would be great to receive weekly massages during your active rest days, but most people do not have that luxury. Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release that improves movement and range of motion.  A foam roller helps alleviate tension by keeping the fascia, or the thin layer of tissue that surrounds muscles, from becoming restrictive.

Take a bath

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Finally, relax your tired muscles by taking a warm bath.  You can add epsom salt to help with sprains, strains, and sore muscles too.

Enjoy your active rest day!

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Which of these activities are you most likely to do on your active rest day? Leave me a comment below.

  • Sheryl April 19, 2017 at 6:13 am

    I so agree with all of these and try to do them. I’m glad you included the one about cleaning, I don’t think many people would consider that but it does a lot for one mentally and physically.

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 8:16 am

      Yes! I always break a sweat when scrubbing toliets and bathtubs. Not to mention, I crank up the music and dance around in between rooms.

  • Ilka Elise April 19, 2017 at 6:32 am

    These are great suggestions. I love going for a walk, it doesn’t feel like exercise but really lifts my spirit.
    Also ‘me-time’ is so important, taking a bath is so good for your body and soul. xxx

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 8:17 am

      Yes it is girl!!

  • Mamma's Cooking April 19, 2017 at 7:06 am

    These are great ideas for helping to get your body moving while soothing your soul. For me, there is nothing better than going for an early morning hike when the weather is crisp but not cold and then standing to take in a beautiful view while taking deep breaths to clear my mind.

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 8:17 am

      I agree. This is our favorite thing to do when camping.

  • Kim April 19, 2017 at 7:22 am

    Foam rolling is one of my favorite things…hurts so good. I recently started yoga and I am OBSESSED…love Yoga with Adriene on Youtube:)

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 8:19 am

      I will have to check that out. I love how I feel after yoga.

  • Charlotte April 19, 2017 at 9:18 am

    I love all of these ideas! I’ve been meaning to try out foam rolling since I hear so many great things about it, and have a lot of sore muscles in my upper back. Thanks so much for sharing (PS: I never heard of disc throwing before, but that sounds like fun!)

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 8:21 am

      Yes!! You should look into disc golf. My husband plays every week and every now and then I go with him. Usually the courts are gorgeous, so it’s a scenic view as you walk around.

  • Trish @ The Trish List April 19, 2017 at 10:26 am

    I am in love with this post! So many great ideas. I love foam rolling and I have been working on taking more baths. Baths really have some amazing benefits for your body. Thank you for sharing your ideas!

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 8:22 am

      Thank you Trish!! I recently read an article about the amount of calories you burn during a bath… it’s amazing!

  • Divya April 19, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Cleaning TOTALLY counts as a workout and I often do most of my cleaning ON my rest days (because I don’t end up using that time to work out so it’s a free chunk of time!)

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 8:23 am

      Right?! It’s a great way to kill two birds with one stone for sure!

  • Shann Eva April 19, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    So many great ideas! I love stretching out, and also have a foam roller. My rest days usually involve chasing around my boys or teaching dance to little ones, so that gives me a little exercise too. I need to get back into swimming!

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 8:26 am

      Yes! That is a great way to exercise.

  • Kim Airhart April 19, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    I love this post. Question. who takes your pictures? Amazing!!

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 8:27 am

      Most of the ones I am not in I take myself. Otherwise, my husband does. He’s a professional photographer. 😉

  • Beth Kondrick April 19, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    I love that you mentioned disc golf! We’re huge disc golf fans at our house, we go pretty much every weekend when the weather is good!

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 8:27 am

      My husband does too! He loves it!

  • Harmony, Momma To Go April 19, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    I need to do more yoga! and i’ve never heard of disc golf! Cool!

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 8:28 am

      My husband plays all of the time. That’s how I know about it.

  • ShootingStarsMag April 19, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Great ideas! I’d totally be down with the swimming idea.


    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 8:28 am

      Haha! Right?

  • justine April 19, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    omg. active rest days are the bane of my existence because that’s the day i foam roll for like and hour and a half in front of the TV. i’m going to try yoga or hiking instead! perfect suggestion <3

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 8:29 am

      Thanks girl!! I need to get better about foam rolling and stretching more regularly.

  • Leighann April 19, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    Yay! I love these ideas! I like to do yoga or go on a light jog on active rest days! I’m horrible at rest!

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 8:30 am

      Me too. I have to do a little something every day.

  • dixya @food, pleasure, and health April 20, 2017 at 6:32 am

    i love all these ideas..even for a less intense workout. personally, i love walking and yoga 🙂

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 8:30 am

      Yes! They are great for that too.

  • Ashley April 20, 2017 at 7:17 am

    So many great ideas! I love foam rolling but I need to do it more often. I’m bad about keeping it in my weekly routine. And baths! Oh I wish I could take more baths 🙂

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 8:40 am

      Me too! I am great about baths but foam rolling is something I struggle to do weekly.

  • Theresa April 20, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Great ideas, thank you! I am a dancer/dance teacher and I am always looking for new ideas to give my body some rest while still doing something 🙂
    Love from Austria,

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 8:40 am

      Thanks, Theresa! There are so many light active things that you can do! Glad you enjoyed!

  • Shannon Burlingame April 20, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Yoga feels awesome after a week full of workouts! I love walking my dog too. She thanks me afterwards. 🙂

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 8:40 am

      Yes it does! Dog walking is the perfect recoup activity.

  • Jessica Sheppard April 20, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Love these ideas! Literally all of them sound like the perfect “day off” to me.

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 8:41 am

      Right?! Wish I could do them today. haha

  • Anh Thu April 20, 2017 at 11:39 am

    omg, i absolutely love this!! having rest days are so necessary! i also love that you have a picture for each activity. these are truly activities to cultivate zen <3

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 8:41 am

      Thank you, Anh!

  • Sheila Joy April 20, 2017 at 11:53 am

    I love these ideas! For me, yoga is part of my daily routine and I cant’t NOT go a day without it 🙂

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 8:41 am

      I want to get to that point eventually!

  • Willow April 20, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Great ideas! I love to take a jacuzzi bath to work out my sore muscles. When I am motivated to clean the house, I consider that an active rest day.

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 8:43 am

      Yes! That’s my favorite way to sooth muschles too.

  • Akaleistar April 20, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    Fun ideas! Stretching is part of my daily routine 🙂

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 8:44 am

      I need to make it part of mine!!

  • stacy gordon April 21, 2017 at 8:38 am

    These are all great ideas. I love a nice bike ride or a relaxing warm bath.

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 9:19 am

      Me too! Both are great for the soul!

  • jessica April 21, 2017 at 9:25 am

    spot on with your list of active rest day options…perfectly excluding netflix!! lol.

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 9:19 am

      I love me some Netflix, but it’s not the most productive use of time. haha.

  • Julie Torres April 21, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Thanks for sharing your ideas for active rest days- I often forget cleaning is actually activity!

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 9:20 am

      Yes!! So many steps!

  • Kaitlynn April 21, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Hi these ideas are great. I love taking a bath every now and again. So calming

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 9:20 am

      Yes it is!!

  • Brittany Giles April 21, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    I love the taking a bath idea! So relaxing!

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 9:21 am

      Me too, girl!!

  • Kami Blease April 24, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Active rest days are the best!! I love walking and for sure unwinding with an epsom salt bath!

    • Jessica April 24, 2017 at 9:21 am

      Yes they are!! So many great things!

  • Mai Lyn Ngo April 24, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    I totally went on a walk yesterday for 2 hours because my body could not handle another intense workout. Love riding bikes and walking for my active recovery. Thanks for all the other tips!

    • Jessica April 26, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      Of course!! I have been on two hour walks before too. There is something so peaceful about them.

  • San April 24, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    I love all of these things…. definitely a good way to spend a rest day.

    • Jessica April 26, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      Yes! Thank you!

  • Stephanie Suire April 26, 2017 at 7:54 am

    I love all of these – except for the cleaning. Haha! Yoga, stretching, walking and foam rolling are how I enjoy spending my active rest days.

    • Jessica April 26, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      haha. I don’t mind the cleaning most days but it’s not my favorite on the list. 😉