Rest is more important than you think and it should be a part of your programme without fail! Let’s get one thing clear right away and differentiate between active rest days and recovery days.
Recovery days are primarily designed to rest and recover. All depending on your body’s ability to recover and your training intensity, one or two days a week might be needed. Active rest days are still rest days but you want to stay active to a certain extent. Staying active doesn’t mean crushing an ‘easier’ workout or doing intense interval training for an hour. These days should be used for lighter and less demanding activities performed at a lower level of intensity.
Easier workout days or active rest days are just as important as heavy workout days. They allow development and improvement to take place without breaking down the body and acquiring overuse injuries. It actually allows the body to rebuild and get stronger instead of being torn down day in and day out. It might also help on motivation by spicing up a stale and flat attitude that might come sneaking in now and then!
Active rest days should enhance and compliment your more intense workouts and should be enjoyable. The easier days might come after two or three days of heavy training. Here, it is important to know your own body and be honest with yourself. If you feel gassed out and not on top from, you should take an easier session in order to be ready for the next heavy session. If your workout program includes a balance of heavy days and light days in a proper sequence, not too many rest and recovery days should be needed.