Chill Out & Cool Down (Post-Workout)

Warming up before a workout is common practice among fitness enthusiasts throughout the world, but the post-workout cool down is often overlooked.

Many gym-goers hop right out of their workout without so much as a calf stretch afterwards.  Unbeknownst to them, there are a plethora of benefits in easing out of intense training. 

VENOUS POOLING

Easing out of your workout by walking or stretching gives your heart a helping hand by returning blood to it slowly but surely.

If you are doing an intense workout and cut out suddenly, blood pools up in your muscles instead of circulating to the heart and brain which can cause some serious problems. This is known as venous pooling.

Do your heart a favor and finish your workout with a brisk walk and some stretching.  By forgetting to cool down, you become susceptible to some of the same problems caused by inactivity.  So if you exercise to be healthy like most of us, then forgetting to cool down is quite the oxymoron.

REGULATE YOUR BODY

Here’s a fun fact: Abruptly stopping body movement after a strenuous workout is a great way to cause an irregular heartbeat

Believe it or not, your body doesn’t like being shocked; hopping directly from an intense workout into a sedentary state is NOT Healthy! The human body prefers a nice transition in and out of strenuous activity. This is why runners walk it out after a race instead of laying down.

Cooling down after every workout helps regulate body temperature and allows your heart rate to decline at a steady pace.  Properly redistributing blood back to your heart is essential in avoiding that dizzy or light-headed feeling after a high-octane workout.  

REMOVE LACTATE

An active cool down helps to rapidly remove lactate from the blood stream. 

If you aren't familiar with lactate, it is known to cause muscle fatigue. We're all familiar with the brutal soreness that comes the day after a hard workout, which is sometimes crippling and affects our daily activities. 

By stretching after your workout, you will jumpstart the lactate removal process and wake up far less sore.

PREVENT INJURY

One if the most IMPORTANT reasons that all athletes cool down is to prevent injury! 

Working out breaks down your muscles, and tightens them up. They fill with blood and seem to bulge, which is what bodybuilders call getting a “pump.” This tightness makes it easier to pull or tear a muscle which could keep you out of the gym for months!

Cooling down with a light exercise followed by some stretching (10-30 seconds) helps loosen the muscle up and prevent these painful injuries.

Now that you know the importance of the cool-down, say goodbye to Irregular heartbeats, pulled hamstrings, that light-headed feeling, and the dreaded venous pooling.

Your body is going to truly appreciate that extra ten minutes of walking or stretching after a long hard work out. You can thank us later, after your cool down.

 

Lawrence BetzComment