Cool Down Right
Cooling down is something you do after you have exercised. Literally it means the gradual cool down of your overall system. As you slow your activity (not stop – slow) you are transitioning your body from a ‘heated’ state to a ‘cooler’ state. A cool down is as simple as slowing down. If you were running, jog. If you were jogging, walk.
Cool down exercises
Gradually slowing down your chosen activity is a natural mode of transition, do not go straight from running full tilt to a walk. The cool down can also be a different activity, Just be sure you are using the same muscle group.
The purpose of a cool down is to provide a 10 to 15 minute cool-down period that will slowly bring down your heart rate.
Bringing your body into a resting state by reducing body temperature slowly until you are back to normal.
This helps to remove waste products from the muscles like lactic acid, aids in the prevention of muscle cramping, spasm, stiffness, or soreness.
The cooling down period prevents dizziness by effectively re-circulating the blood back to the heart, skeletal muscles and brain.
The best time to stretch is after your cool-down, since your muscles are still warm and most likely to respond favourably, there is a lowered risk of injury. Stretching helps to relax your muscles, restores them to their resting length, and improves flexibility and reduces soreness.
Make these post-exercise stretches more thorough than your pre-exercise stretches. Ensure that you stretch all the major muscle groups that you have used during your exercise.
Warm ups can also be a great introduction to fitness. If it has been a long time since you have exercised or you are new to the idea but want to incorporate fitness into your life.
Start by putting aside a few minutes and add a warm up with a stretching routine to your day. It doesn’t take a lot of time and your mind and body will respond positively. Remember, before embarking on any fitness program, consult with a physician.