Why You Shouldn’t Skip Your Cool Down

Why You Shouldn’t Skip Your Cool Down

Do you do a cooldown after exercise? Your first thought might be of your teacher telling the class to lie down for ten minutes after running around for an hour. Don’t worry, that’s why we are here to teach you how a cool down will improve your workout routine.

Why Is A Cool Down Beneficial?

Did you know that a cool down is full of benefits that will keep you safe and healthy after your exercise? A cool down is there to help you recover from the intensity of your workout and transition your body back to a normal state so that you can go about your day happy and healthy.  No matter what workout you do, the right cool down will improve your workout results.

  • Safely lowers your heart rate: Do you ever feel lightheaded after exercising? Even when your workout is over, your heart is still pumping fast and your blood vessels are dilated. Stopping quickly can cause your blood to pool and can leave you feeling sick or at risk of passing out. A cool down will slowly bring your heart rate and blood pressure down to its normal level, preventing blood pooling and reducing the likelihood of fainting.

  • Prevents Injuries: Your cool down and warm up are there to keep you safe. Right after a workout your muscles are still warm and supple. This is the perfect time to do some stretches that will improve your flexibility. The more you improve your muscles flexibility and range of motion, the less likely you are to injure yourself while exercising.

  • Prevent Muscle Pain: Have you ever felt really stiff after a workout? This is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), it’s caused by micro tears in your muscles. One study found that cycling after strength training reduced the severity of DOMS significantly, this means a cool down might prevent painful muscles the next day.

  • Helps Your Body Recover After Exercise: Recovery is a cool down’s main goal. It reduces the build up of lactic acid, meaning less muscle stiffness and cramps.

  • How To Do A Cool Down

    After you have completed your workout it can be very tempting to just stop exercising, and head straight to the shower or home, but a cool down is so important for a safe workout. A cool down only needs to last 5-15 minutes for the benefits to appear. 

    You need to bring your heart rate down slowly; that means doing a slower, less-intensive version of the exercises you were doing. If you were swimming then you could swim laps at a leisurely pace for 10 minutes, or if you have been running then you can slow down to walk. Did you know that walking home from the gym or your activity could be considered a cool down? Walking back to your home or the office is a great way to save time exercising while caring for your body.

    With your muscles still being warm, a cool down is the perfect time to stretch the muscles you just worked out. Doing static stretches, like a calf stretch or a hamstring stretch for at least 20 seconds will stretch your muscles and help them to recover. You should breathe slowly and deeply when stretching to promote oxygen flow to these muscles.


    Written by Performance For All 

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