You’ve huffed and puffed and ready to hit a warm shower-so many times the last thing on our minds is to wind down and do a cool down.
Taking the time to cool down is important because:
- It allows your heart rate and blood pressure to return to normal.
- It allows for your muscles to stretch, maintain suppleness and flexibility which reduces the risk of injury.
- It will also enable you to workout again sooner.
- It allows you to relax by focusing on your breathing, getting back control of your body and unwinding psychologically.
Below are a few tips for post workout cooling down
After riding: After an intense riding session, allow 10 minutes at the end for an easy pace to allow your breathing, blood pressure and heart rate to return to a normal state. It is also really beneficial to stretch your calves, hips and back to reduce tightening up of your muscles reducing soreness.
After running: It is advisable after a run to finish with a light interval jog or walk for around 2-5 minutes. This enables you to slowly cool down and restore your body to its normal state. Also remember to take the time to stretch your calves, groin, hamstrings and quads. Not only will this help to relieve the built up tension and soreness in your muscles but it will prepare them for your next run.
After weights: Start by stretching the muscles worked for around 5 minutes to relieve tension and soreness from them. Also the uses of a steam room or sauna are also good to help loosen up. Thereafter, a cool shower can also be beneficial as it helps to prevent swelling which reduces soreness.
After swimming: Once you have finished your swim, it is really important again to do a few slow paced laps to bring your body back to its normal state. Although swimming is sometimes seen as a nice relaxed way to work out, it can be an intense workout on you rmuscles.
The slow laps will help you prevent the likes of cramps and injuries and help regulate your breathing again. A combination of calve, thigh, back, arm and neck stretches will also help prevent muscle soreness and get you back in the pool quicker.
For just a few extra minutes buy stretching and cooling down you can really make a difference to your bodies recovery and will allowing you to get back training and working out faster as the soreness will be at a minimum. Always remember to keep well hydrated whilst working out and when cooling down as this to helps regulate the body during and after exercise.
Your body will thank you will let you know if you missed a cool down! So don’t take a chance and pay for it later, it only takes 5-10 minutes.!
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