The Proper Way to Cool Down After a Workout
When you start your fitness journey there are many parts of your workout, and they are all important. Preparing yourself, warming up, working out, and cooling down. When you are finished with your workout, you might have to urge to walk out of the gym and head home. But wait! Cooling down after your workout is a very important step that should not be skipped. Whether you want to take some time to stretch out your muscles, or hop on the treadmill to lower your heart rate, cooling down after a workout is a great way to rejuvenate your body.
You might be thinking, “why is cooling down important?” Taking time to cool down after a workout is good for your body, muscles, and heart. There are six main things that cooling down does:
- Brings your heart rate and breathing back to normal
- Prevents dizziness and fainting
- Prepares your muscles for the next exercise session
- Removes waste products, such as lactic acid, which can build up during activity
- Reduces immediate post-exercise tendency for muscle spasms or cramping
- Reduces muscle soreness and stiffness
These advantages give your body and muscles an overall reboot. Cooling down is also good for your mind. After a vigorous workout, sometimes you can sit and think about all the things you want to do next time, or everything you want to do better at, cooling down is a great way to relax and let your mind go.
Cooling down can take anywhere from 5-20 minutes depending on your personal preferences. If you would rather stretch out your muscles then your cool down should be 5-10 minutes. If you want to get on the treadmill and walk out your workout, shoot for 10-20 minutes. We realize that come people do not like to put time limits on workouts, so the best way to know if you are cooled down is to focus on your heart rate and breathing. Once you notice you are breathing normally and your heart rate slows down, your cool down is over.
Here are some great stretches to do to complete your cool down.
- Standing Toe Touch Stretch – A great stretch for the hamstrings, glutes, as well as the lower back.
- Deep Lunge with Rotation – A great stretch for the groin, quads, and hip flexor.
- Figure 4 Stretch – Another great stretch for the hips, glutes, and lower back. If you choose to perform standing, you can add a quadriceps stretch
- and alternate back and forth between the two stretches.
- Upper Chest Stretch – A great stretch for opening through the chest and front of the shoulder.
- Side Stretch & Swirl – A great stretch for the spine, while also strengthening the abs and low back.
Remember to hold each stretch for about 10-20 seconds to ensure you are helping your muscles. These simple stretches are an easy way to get your body relaxed and your muscles loose. If have any questions about cooling down, or want to get your new fitness routine started, call your local Fit Republic, or just stop by! Our wonderful employees can help you get started, or even set you up with a great personal trainer. Click here to reach to us!