Keep Calm and Cool Down

While it’s important to warm up before exercising, we don’t want you to forget about your cool down this summer. After exercising, it is essential to help your body return to its normal state before returning to your daily activities. Your “cool down” is an important part of your muscle and tissue repair and helps with your strength building and overall recovery. While it’s hot outside, use these tips to add a cool down to your summer exercise plan:

 

The Benefits of a Cool Down

Your heart is elevated, and after a hot workout, you are ready to throw in the towel. Before you do, you want to help your heart ease back to a normal pace with a cool down routine. If you switch from a high intensity workout to sitting in your car or couch, you are running the risk of fainting or dizziness because of the quick drop in your heart rate.

Instead, when you add a five to 10-minute cool down after your workout, you are not only helping your heart, but you are also helping prepare your muscles for your next workout. A cool down removes waste products like lactic acid which, when built up, can cause muscle spasms, cramping, soreness and stiffness. Before you finish your workout, take five to 10 minutes to appreciate your body and reward it for what it achieved with a cool down.

 

How Do You Cool Down?

A cool down should take approximately five to 10 minutes. During your cool down, you’ll want to make sure you stay hydrated. Drinking water is essential when exercising, and especially when the weather is hot.

If you complete a cardio workout, make sure to walk for at least three to five minutes to help your blood pressure and heart rate come back down to a normal rate. Whether you are focused on strengthening or cardio, stretching is an after-workout necessity. Not only does it help your muscles recover, it will also help you improve your flexibility, decrease the risk of injury and reduce soreness.
Choose stretches that focus on the muscles you worked out and hold those stretches for at least 20-30 seconds. As you cool down, focus on deep breathing to help bring your heart rate down. Once you’re done with stretching, treat yourself to a massage or grab a foam roller to help break up the knots or adhesions in your muscles.

If you are looking for ways to stretch various muscles or you’re experiencing muscle soreness after exercising, make sure to contact us for more helpful tips to improve your cool down routine.

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