Active Rest - What it is, and Why it's Important

Active Rest - What it is, and Why it's Important

Skaters put countless hours into practice and competition and so do their parents! This sport involvement cultivates resilience and other qualities essential to youth now and in the future, but sometimes... we all need a rest!! As we start GSC’s annual three week break, you might hear coaches saying things like, “it’s active rest time.” But, what does it mean to take an active rest from skating and why is it so important?

What is active rest?

Active rest is the act of stopping sport specific training, in our case skating, while at the same time maintaining and sometimes further developing fitness. The purpose of active rest is to recover and rejuvenate skaters’ bodies and minds.

Photo by: Dave McMahon

Photo by: Dave McMahon

Bodies: physically, skaters need to do less skating and more other types activities. During active rest, skaters usually hang up their skates for a few weeks and participate in a variety of activities such as running, biking, yoga, strength conditioning, which all complement and support rest and rejuvenation. Properly paced movement helps the body to recover faster.

But rest does not mean sitting around and doing nothing. It is important for skaters to move during a break so they can maintain the fitness they have worked so hard to develop.

Minds: skaters need a break from competition and other sport stresses. Skaters need some time to put their sport in perspective and remember that there is more to life than skating. Taking time away from skating gives skaters an opportunity to see their sport in a new light and hopefully find a new appreciation for their sport when they return.

It is suggested that spending time outside is particularly helpful for mind and body recovery. In the article called “11 scientific reasons you should be spending more time outside” Freidman and Loria (2016*) suggest that: “[n]ature offers one of the most reliable boosts to your mental and physical well-being.”

By scheduling purposeful breaks, our skaters will be able to keep their bodies and minds in the sport for the long-haul. So let’s get outside and get moving!!

Written by Stefanie Partridge (Off-ice Director, GSC)

Note: Find Active Rest plans prepared by Stefanie HERE, under resources.


*Freidman, L and Loria, K. (2016). 11 scientific reasons you should be spending more time outside. Retrieved from: