The post-workout cool down gets a bit of a bad reputation. Once your workout is over, there is one final essential component that tends to get skipped – the cool down. Taking the time to cool down promotes good recovery and can improve your performance the next time you work out.
Here are five tips for your post-workout cool down.
1. Make time for it.
As soon as your workout ends, give your body a chance to cool down. Rather than bolting for the exit, take five to ten minutes to cool down. Just as your body needs time to warm-up pre-workout, there is value in setting aside a few minutes post-workout.
2. Resist the urge to lie down.
When you finish a tough workout, no matter how tempting it is or how tired you are, resist the urge to lie or sit down. Your heart rate and body temperature are elevated, and your blood vessels are dilated. If you lie down, all systems come to a screeching halt, causing dizziness or fainting. By walking around, your body can slow down and get back to a resting state.
3. Take a few minutes to stretch.
After you finish a workout, your body is warmed up, and your muscles are relaxed. Now is the time to stretch and work on improving your flexibility. Stretching while your muscles aren’t warmed-up is uncomfortable, counterproductive, and could lead to injury. But taking a few minutes post-workout to gently stretch can decrease muscle soreness and help your body relax.
4. Use a foam roller.
Get a jump start on your post-workout recovery by using a foam roller. Concentrate on any areas where you feel muscle tightness, but be gentle with how much pressure you’re applying.
5. Drink plenty of water.
As part of your cool down, make sure that you start replenishing the fluid lost through sweat. You may not be thirsty, but thirst isn’t the best indication that you need to replace fluid. Sip on a water bottle as you cool down and stretch.
To learn more about the classes we’re currently offering at AR Fit Factory in North Hollywood, contact us today.