The “Cool Down”

The “Cool Down”

📅August 1st, 2014, 20:15

All athletes have been told at some point in their lives how important cooling down after a workout is. But what are the actual reasons why it is important? Well, here’s the scoop:

A cool-down is just as important as a warm-up. It is the first step you can take to speed up the recovery process. Cooling down for 15 to 20 minutes is important to help blood continue to circulate through the body and to allow you to catch your breath.  It allows your body the chance to come back to a regular heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rhythm. During intense exercise blood pools in the extremities, and needs to return properly to organs. Cooling down allows the pooling blood to return to the brain and other major organs.  If  you decide to skip out on the cool down, chances are you probably won’t feel that great for the rest of the day.

A cool down often feels good, and the psychological relief of going easy, or walking around after a tough workout, can do wonders for your mental well-being. This has caused people to believe that cooling down gets rid of initial muscle soreness. But many well-designed studies found no amount of cool down will have a significant effect on decreasing muscle soreness after exercise. In fact, studies show that a proper warm up before exercise is more likely to reduce your post-exercise muscle soreness mainly because you are minimizing the damage you will do to your muscles. (Cold muscles tear easier than warm muscles). The idea that cooling down will reduce or prevent muscle soreness has not been found to be true with research. Muscle soreness after exercise is caused by micro tears in the muscle fibers. Ironically, this is also how a muscle gets stronger. After the small tears are produced, the muscle tissue repairs and rebuilds itself and in doing so, gets bigger and stronger.

Here are some ways to get that cool down in after that workout.

walking for 15 minutes

light jogging 10-20 minutes

-light drills, skips, bounds, light strides

-easy cycling or ElliptiGO 10-20 minutes

It doesn’t matter what your workout is, just make sure to get in a form of light exercise for a cool down session and keep blood circulating. Using the NormaTec Recovery gear after your workout/cool down will also help speed the recovery process along!  Between the cool down and NormaTec you’ll bring your vitals back to baseline and set yourself up for the best possible recovery!