If you’ve just started working out again, then you know how good it feels to finish a workout on the treadmill, running or lifting weights. However, while most people focus on elements like getting the heart rate up and burning calories, many forget the value of a nice cool-down period afterward.
As you start to ramp up your workout routine, cooling down will need to become an integral part of your sessions. If not, then you could be doing more harm to your body than good. We want to share the significant benefits of cooling down after exercise. Whether you just got back into it or you’ve been at it a while, it’s never too late to start.
What is Cooling Down?
Some people use the phrase warm down instead of cool down, but the action is the same. After pushing yourself to the limits during your workout, you need to allow your body to recover. A cool down is when you tone down the intensity of your workout gradually or use some techniques to help get your body back to resting state.
The top reasons why you should incorporate cool-down into your routine:
Avoid becoming lightheaded
When exercising, you’re trying to increase your heart rate, sometimes substantially. If you don’t cool down from the peak, then you could wind up getting lightheaded or dizzy afterward. Allow your heart to slow down normally so that you can make sure blood is still getting where it needs to go.
Catch your breath
If you’ve ever sprinted and then found yourself panting for several minutes afterward, then you’re familiar with this sensation. Cooling down allows your body to adapt to the exercise so that your breathing becomes more controlled. No more gasping for air like a fish out of water.
Your body is at its most limber after a workout. Take advantage of this by cooling down with various stretches. Since your muscles are not as stiff, they can adapt to this regimen more efficiently, allowing you to become much more flexible over time.
How to Cool Down Properly
Thankfully, cooling down from a workout doesn’t have to add a ton of time to your routine. All it may take is five minutes or so, depending on how thorough you want to be with it. Here are some tips.
Slow your exercise rate
If you’re running, slow to a jog, then eventually to a walk. Take a few minutes between each transition to make sure that your body adjusts well. If you’re lifting weights, lifting smaller numbers can also achieve this effect.
Do some stretches
Not only can you improve your flexibility, but stretching is an excellent way to keep your body moving without raising your heart rate. Pick a few stretches that interest you and do several sets of each one. Ideally, you will focus on the muscles you just worked out, such as the legs, arms, or back.
There are a range of different products available to help you warm down more effectively. Myovolt has clinical evidence to show that it can reduce muscle soreness and stiffness, shorten the recovery period and get you back to form faster.
Bottom Line - Keep it Cool
Knowing the benefits of a cool down session is one thing - doing it is another. Be sure to allow your body time to recover so that you can transition from your workout to the rest of your day and be ready to do it all again tomorrow!