How to Properly Cool Down After a Workout
Cooling down after exercise is so important for your physical health. Whether you’ve ran a marathon, or just got through a CrossFit session, cooling down is an essential part of your workout. Here’s why it matters and how to do it the right way!
Why Cool Down at All?
Cooling down after a workout may be just as important as the workout itself, according to some fitness enthusiasts. It can prevent dizziness, which tends to happen after strenuous exercise. Intense bursts of exercise can actually cause your leg’s blood vessels to expand, bringing increased blood flow to the legs and feet. When this happens, your heart rate slows. If it slows down too quickly, it can cause dizziness and even fainting to occur. Cooling down can minimize the risk of dizziness, fainting and even nausea from taking place , as well as help to prevent muscle soreness.
Components of a Proper Cool Down
Now that you know the benefits, how do you properly cool down after an hour or two of exercise? It’s important to cool down in the right way. With so much contradictory information out there, we’ve compiled some of the most important aspects of the cooling down process, and a simple way to execute it in your post-exercise plan!
- Cool down stretching. Get into the habit of a cool down by stretching. Take 15-20 minutes to stretch, immediately following a workout, when your muscles are still warm. Stretching when they are ‘cold’ an hour after a workout can cause a strain or sprain to occur. Take the time to stretch out every major muscle group by holding each group for 15-20 seconds each.
- Get your heart rate down. Immediately following your exercise activity, your rate will be up – that’s a good thing! But, the point of cooling down is to give your heart rate the opportunity to get back to its normal rate. You can do this by walking at a moderate pace, swimming a few laps, or even sitting down with a roller and massaging your major muscle groups.
Cooling down will allow you to safely get your body back to a resting and comfortable state, as well as reduce its risk of injury. Use our tips for a safe and effective cool down session, each and every time!