Rest and recovery is not the same as skipping a workout. Successful athletes and fitness enthusiasts on every level build this crucial component into their training programs.

Positive overloads cause the body to respond with increases in strength, cardiovascular capacity and flexibility. This positive overload, balanced with rest and recovery is the optimal training formula.

If you attempt maximum effort workouts every day, you risk overtraining. This can lead to staleness, exhaustion and injury. Rest and recovery, built into your workout program will keep your workouts productive and your body healthy. Here’s how to do it:

1. Use “active recovery” to maximize time and avoid over training. Active recovery or active rest is productive recuperation performed between exercises or even between workouts. For example, yoga between boot camp or personal training will allow you to rest those hard working muscles without requiring total inactivity. Cross-training with fun, lower intensity recreational activities between formal workout days will help you to recover, but still keep you active.

2. Vary the intensity of your workouts throughout the week.

3. Vary the activities or exercises within your program.

4. Take at least one actual day of rest each week. This is important for both mental and physical health.