We know the feeling when the workout timer stops, and you all but come to a halt and call it a day, ready to hit the shower. But just as warming up prepares the body before its exertion, cooling down is just as important.
But what's the best way to cool down? Is it just sort of slowing down and coming to a stop? Is it about doing a different exercise or movement?
Cooling down properly means giving your body the opportunity it needs to gradually come back to its normal rhythm. Your heart rate and blood pressure have increased during your workout and you want to help ease them back so you don't feel dizzy. A very simple example of a cool down is how you walk for a while after finishing a run.
All you need is a 5 to 10 spare minutes at the end of your workout to stretch and bring your body back to its status quo.
Top tips to cool down;
Cool down from the inside by rehydrating with your water
Slow your heart rate
Walk for a few minutes or until your heart rate gets below 120 beats per minute
Stretch it out
Hold your stretches for 10-30 seconds and control your breathing as you stretch out your muscles that have been working so hard. Stretch until you feel the pull or a slight strain but not so hard it hurts!
Supporting your body into the appropriate recovery mode should help you get the most from workouts. It's a small but vital step to give your body the TLC it needs after its period of exertion. Give it a try and find a wind-down routine that works for you!
Thanks to Ketut Subiyanto for the image