This Fit Tip is for those of you who immediately get done training and just head home or sit! I’m 100% guilty of this. Right after a workout, I may sit and die in a puddle of my own sweat and consider that my “cool down”. But, what a “cool down” session really means is slowly bringing your heart rate back down and working to relieve your muscles of lactate buildup. A proper cool down also helps prevent your blood pressure from dropping too rapidly which could cause fainting or dizziness.
Also, research is being done that shows massage immediately after a training session helps muscles return to “normal” more quickly. This means they aren’t broken down for as long AND there’s an increase in protein muscle synthesis which means our muscles are getting bigger and stronger! This doesn’t mean you have to schedule a 90 minute deep tissue massage right after your workout (That would be amazing though, wouldn’t it?), just utilize that foam roller, folks! Stacey has some great foam rolling techniques, too!
Below are some sample cool down exercises:
– light cardio on the treadmill, bike, or rower
– static stretching, of all major muscle groups (legs, core, chest, arms, etc.)
– foam rolling/massage
– exercise mimicry (performing the same movements performed in the workout, but with less resistance/intensity)
So, the next time you hit the gym, spend 10-15 minutes cooling down at the end of your workout. I know we’re always pressed for time after a workout, but your body will thank you!