STRONGER Challenge Motivation Day 4: Take Some Active Recovery Time

Two people streching their legs in gym.
It's important to stretch tight and sore muscles. (Image: javi_indy/iStock/GettyImages)

If you've been working hard these past three days, we have a treat for you and your tired (possibly sore) muscles. An active recovery workout! That means, you're taking a break from your high-intensity sessions (bye for now, burpees) and doing low-impact, low-intensity exercises that stretch, strengthen and reinvigorate your body.

So if you're joining us for the 8-Week STRONGER Challenge, press “play” to watch this one-minute motivation video message from celebrity trainer Nicky Holender. He talks about how low-impact workouts like his 41-minute REFUEL active recovery workout will improve your flexibility and help relieve any soreness and stiffness you might be feeling from your other workouts.

Just like the name implies, this workout helps refuel your muscles. How? Well, by now your arms, abs and legs are probably at least a little sore. So instead of taking a day completely off (just wait for day seven), doing an active recovery workout gets your heart pumping just enough to flush your muscles of the waste that's causing and exacerbating your soreness.

And dynamic stretches (those that incorporate movement instead of holding still) help you release any tightness that's forming. They also help improve your mobility and flexibility, which is important for those of us tied to a desk job all day or anyone who's getting older (so, all of us!).

8-Week STRONGER Challenge free workout videos
“There’s No Such Thing as Getting It Wrong." (Image: LIVESTRONG.COM)

How to Sign Up for the STRONGER Challenge

1. Download the MyPlate app for iOS or and create your account. If you're on Android or don't have a smartphone, you can also use the desktop version. Make sure you set July 9 as your start date so you can be on the same page as the rest of the LIVESTRONG.COM community!

2. On your start date (we're launching our next challenge July 9th), you'll be able to log into your account and click on “Meal Plan” in the bottom navigation bar of the app. There, you'll have access to each day's meals as well as each week's shopping list.

tracking food from a smartphone based on a meal plan by MyPlate Calorie Tracking app as part of the STRONGER Challenge
Tracking is easy with MyPlate. (Image: LIVESTRONG.COM)

3. For each meal and snack, track your calories by clicking the check mark next to each food or recipe. If you need to deviate from the meal plan, you can also enter foods manually from the “Track” tab on the bottom navigation. Just search for your food and click the “I Ate This” button. Also be sure to track your water intake from the “Track” tab.

4. Print out the STRONGER Challenge workout calendar and and follow along with each day's free workout video.

8-week stronger workout calendar
Here's your workout roadmap. (Image: Gracie Wilson/LIVESTRONG.COM)

5. Track the STRONGER workouts in MyPlate. On the app's main page, click Exercise then search STRONGER. All of the workouts will be listed below. Select the one you performed that day.

6. Join our LIVESTRONG.COM Challenge Facebook Group to get daily tips, encouragement and motivation! You can also join the conversation in our community boards in the app ("Community" on the bottom navigation) and on desktop.

7. Do the workouts with us, cross them off the calendar and post about it in the Facebook group. We're cheering for you!

Readers — Are you joining us for the 8-week STRONGER Challenge? What do you think of the STRONGER workouts? Have you taken a look at the meal plan yet? Are you having any trouble accessing and using either of them? Have you ever done a fitness challenge group before? How did it go for you? Have you joined our LIVESTRONG.COM Challenge Group on Facebook? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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