The Important Elements of a Good Cool Down
No matter the exercise you have just completed, whether it’s a quick run around the block, a strength training workout in the gym, or a group sports activity, a cool down is an essential part of your workout. Our Sportsclub professionals have compiled everything we need to know about cool downs and what makes a good one.
Why Complete A Cool Down?
Cool downs are a beneficial and essential part of a workout for these reasons:
- They help your heart rate and blood pressure get back to normal resting levels.
- During cool downs you take calm, controlled breaths which helps to lower body temperature.
- They prevent post-workout dizziness and fainting.
- Static stretching helps repair and recover the muscles, and enhances performance for the next workout or daily activities as muscles recover quicker.
How to Complete the Perfect Cool Down
Ensure you’re completing your cool down correctly to prevent injury and help your muscles recover faster. Follow these top tips:
- Maintaining movement, slowly reduce your pace or intensity for approximately five minutes, getting slower with each minute.
- Once your resting heart rate has returned, stretch your large muscle groups slowly for approximately 10 to 20 seconds each. You should not stretch to the point of pain, but to the point of feeling some resistance.
- Don’t forget to breathe!
Avoiding cool downs will lead to excessive muscle soreness or weakness, reduced performance levels in your next workout, and potential loss of appetite or sleep.
Don’t Forget a Snack
Eating a snack after a workout can help replace your energy stores and promote muscle recovery and repair. This isn’t your excuse to reach into the cookie jar however, it needs to be the right sort of snack. Opt for something that has a simple carbohydrate and a protein. Here are our favorite post-workout snacks:
- Apple or banana with peanut butter
- Chocolate milk or coconut milk
- Yogurt with berries
- Almonds and grapes
- Fruit smoothie with protein powder
Cool Down at Sportsclub
Try to incorporate a cool down into every workout you complete for your strongest, fittest self. At Sportsclub, we have dedicated stretching areas, a variety of mind-body group exercise classes, and certified personal trainers that can all be utilized during your cool downs.