If you’re someone who skips warms ups and cool downs, read on!
Cooling down is vital for gradually reducing heart rate and avoiding sudden blood pressure drops. It also helps remove waste products like lactic acid from muscles, reducing the risk of stiffness and soreness. Just a few minutes of warm up and cool down can help you avoid injury, fatigue and stiffness.
Read on to learn how and why to cool down after exercise.
To cool down effectively, finish off your more vigorous activities with 5-10 minutes of lighter movements, so swimming, cycling or walking at the end. You can also do some yoga or Tai Chi poses, or specific stretches that target the muscles you used during your workout.
The key is to gradually reduce the intensity of your exercise and allow your body to transition smoothly to a state of rest.
One of the primary reasons to cool down is to help prevent your worked-out muscles from becoming excessively sore.
When you exercise, your muscles undergo stress and tension, and a sudden stop can cause them to tighten up. By gradually reducing your activity level during a cool down, you allow your muscles to relax and return to their resting state, minimising post-workout soreness.
Lactic acid can accumulate in your muscles during intense exercise and can contribute to muscle fatigue and discomfort.
By doing some light cool down movements and gentle exercises, you’ll promote blood circulation, which aids in the removal of lactic acid and helps your body's recovery process.
During activity, your muscles become warm and more pliable. Doing some stretches during your cool down can improve flexibility and prevent muscle tightness.
Stretching while your muscles are still warm increases your range of motion and helps maintain joint mobility. A few minutes of yoga, for example, after exercise which has raised your heart rate, can be a great cool down.
A proper cool down can prolong the positive effects of your workout, making you feel good for longer.
It promotes a gradual decrease in heart rate and helps your body transition from an active state to a resting state. This gradual shift reduces the chances of experiencing dizziness or light-headedness and allows your body to recover in a more controlled manner.
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