One of the most neglected and overlooked parts of a workout holds a lot of weight when it comes to feeling your best afterward. It also happens to be one of the easiest to accomplish, taking only a few minutes of your workout period. It’s often referred to simply as “the cool-down”, conveniently named the opposite of the “warm-up”
Letting your body cool down post-workout is important because it allows the body to return to homeostasis, which includes your heart rate and lungs returning to a resting rate. This is important because it can prevent dizziness and other discomforts that may follow an intense workout. It also promotes the clearing of waste products that your body may have accumulated during the workout, so you’ll leave feeling better and more refreshed.
Cooling down after a workout should consist primarily of light stretching and light aerobic work. Here are a few examples you can implement after your next workout:
Simply walking for a few minutes can be enough to promote circulation and will leave you feeling superb as your body comes down from the workout.
2. Light Stretching
Stretching the muscles that you used during a workout is also a great way to help the body come back down to homeostasis. Try holding a gentle stretch for 30 seconds for each muscle used during your workout.
3. Foam Rolling
If you have access to get a massage post-workout, that’s fantastic! Unfortunately for most of us, we have to rely on self-massage, which can be done on a foam roller or something similar. Simply roll out on the muscles that you used during the workout and hold pressure on tender areas for 20-30 seconds until you feel the muscle release.