3 Tips for Cooling Down After a Workout
Every workout essentially has a beginning, a middle, and an end, spanning from your warm-up through the activity itself to the cool-down period.
If you’ve ever used a treadmill (and, at this point, who hasn’t?), you’ve encountered a “cool down” that lasts for about five minutes once you’ve gotten through your time. Right before this point, your muscles are getting tired and begin breaking down, and this slower pace assists with:
- Muscle and tissue repair
- Building your strength
- Reducing strain on your heart muscle
- Reducing dizziness
- Preventing blood from pooling in your legs and lower extremities.
Along with these aspects, the cool-down period composes a crucial aspect of strength building, so to fully recover and take advantage of your muscles at their most flexible, consider these points:
1. Do Something Leisurely
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s never a good idea to suddenly end your workout. Rather, based on what you’ve been doing, take a lower-key approach to finishing off:
- If you’ve been running, start going slower or even take a walk.
- Lifting weights? Do some dynamic stretches after. As your muscles are at their most limber, focus on the arms, legs, and chest, holding each position for 10 to 30 seconds instead of bouncing. Not only will you cool down now, but you likely won’t feel that next-day soreness.
- Try a less-strenuous activity, such as jumping jacks or even swimming.
While it’s always a good idea to have water available during your workout, now’s the time to rehydrate. The purpose, here, is to not just quench your thirst, but to also replace that lost water weight. As a result, experts recommend not just grabbing something to drink, but to consume about 25 to 50 percent more than you ordinarily would.
3. Grab Some Protein
Along with being their most flexible, your muscles have reached the point in which they’re able to absorb the most nutrients. If you’re focused on building strength, and also want to stock up on anything lost during the workout, some recommend drinking a protein shake right at this point.
Can’t stand the taste of protein powder? That doesn’t mean other sources are off limits. As an alternative, be ready with a glass of milk for your cool down.
Whether you’re looking for free weights, machines, or a track for running, North Haven Health & Racquet is ready to meet your fitness needs. Stop by our facility today to see all we have to offer.