Workout Wednesday - Cool Down

By: Stacia Naquin Email
By: Stacia Naquin Email

Many people eliminate cool down from their fitness workouts because they consider it unimportant. The truth is that your cool down is just as important as warming up and plays a crucial part in staying injury free.

Cooling down after a workout is important because it promotes recovery and aids our bodies to get back to a pre-workout level. Short term recovery from a workout is important both physically and psychologically. Short term recovery is achieved through the cooling down phase immediately after a workout.

The cool down helps reduce the chances of any muscular soreness over the following few days, and lessens any potential for injury that may occur immediately after the exercise session when coordination may be a little off. A brief cool down will also allow the heart and lungs to reduce the immediate pace and start to pay back the oxygen debt caused by intense training.

A basic cool down session requires you to gradually decrease the intensity level over the last 5 minutes, bringing the body back to a normal pace. After breathing rate has slowed down you should do a few more gentle stretches to finish off the workout.

The cool down process helps a lot because it keeps the blood circulating, thus helping to prevent blood pooling and even removing part of the waste products we find in our muscles after a workout. To make it even more important, cooling down will also bring in blood with oxygen and nutrients, which are needed by the muscles, ligaments and tendons to properly recover after a good bodybuilding or fitness routine.

The proper way to cool down after exercising:
•Start by gradually slowing down on the exercise you are performing.
•Complete some stretching movements for the exercised muscles. But, do NOT overstretch the muscles at this point!

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