Just because you’ve clocked your last kilometre or finished your final rep, doesn’t mean your workout is over. In fact, what you do after your workout is just as important as what you do during it. After any workout—involving cardio or weights—your muscles are tired and begin breaking down. The immediate time after exercise is essential to muscle and tissue repair, strength building and overall recovery. Time to cool down!
Cooling down has several benefits including:
- Brings your heart rate and breathing back to normal
- Prevents fainting or dizziness
- Prepares your muscles for the next exercise session
- Removes waste products (such as lactic acid), which can build up during vigorous activity
- Reduces the immediate post-exercise tendency for muscle spasm or cramping
- Reduces muscle soreness and stiffness
How to Cool Down?
A quality cool down will take 5-10 minutes and consist of a lower intensity exercise period followed by stretching. Of course, if you’re pressed for time, something is always better than nothing. Even a longer walk back to your car (or around the parking lot before you sit down) will help alleviate concerns of blood pooling that can lead to fainting or dizziness.
If you aren’t finding time to cool down and stretch at the end of your workouts, consider adding at least one flexibility focused workout or yoga session per week (minimum) to help reduce muscular imbalances and everyday stressors to your body. If you need more ideas for exciting cool down’s, then head over to our facebook page.
A Proper Cool Down
- 3-5 minutes of exercising at a lower intensity, maybe a little longer if the workout was super intense: Focus on deep breathing to return heart rate to normal.
- 5 minutes of stretching your target muscles: Choose 3-5 stretches for muscles that were ‘worked out,’ holding stretches for 20-30 seconds.
- Foam rolling
Every time you move you’re losing water from your body. After a workout, you need to replenish water supplies—this helps decrease muscle soreness and increase strength and flexibility.
How much liquid do you need after a workout? A simple method for figuring that out is to weigh yourself before you workout, then weigh yourself when you’re finished. The weight you lost is strictly water weight. To replenish, you need to drink that weight in liquids, plus 25 to 50 percent to make up for what you’ll lose in urine. If you need further information about training please don’t hesitate to book in for a free 45min consultation with Body Revival