The best ways to cool down after a workout

Just as it’s essential to get our heart rate up during exercise, it’s essential to make sure you give your muscles and heart enough time to cool down. Instead of showering or rehydrating immediately, spend ten to fifteen minutes after each workout to stretch and bring body temperature and blood pressure back to pre-workout levels.

A proper cool-down, like a warm-up before exercise, can minimize the risk of injury and reduce stress on the muscles.

According to the Mayo Clinic, cooling down is especially crucial for endurance athletes because it helps regulate blood flow.

Proper, deep stretching and breathing exercises after exercise can also help recalibrate our mental state.

As a rule of thumb, those doing cardio can cool down simply by slowing down during the last five to 10 minutes of their routine. Here are several other ways to finish a workout.


Dead body position

A common way to finish a yoga session, the dead body pose allows individuals to reconnect with the body and relax muscles. Lying still with relaxed limbs and closed eyes, the pose is a great way to read possible signs of injury or stress the body is sending out. If you experience tightness or discomfort in a particular area of ​​skin during your three to five minute session, you can focus on stretching and massaging those areas.

To jog

After an intense cardio session, it is helpful to gradually return heart rate and blood pressure to their pre-workout baseline. Jogging or walking for five to ten minutes is a great way to give your muscles time to cool down and rest. Instead of stopping the movement immediately, this allows for a more gradual recovery.

Stretch

After HIIT or mobility exercises like Pilates or yoga, it’s helpful to do some deep stretching for a few minutes, especially in areas you’ve focused on during your workout. Stretching decreases the release of lactic acid, which helps keep muscle soreness at bay.

It’s also a great way to start your workout as it helps increase your flexibility and greatly reduces the chance of injury.

Meditation

Cortisol, the hormone most associated with stress, is released during workouts. The stress hormone decreases protein synthesis and stunts tissue growth, which means your high-intensity training could actually work against your muscle growth goals. Meditation is an effective way to lower cortisol and help you regain your focus post-workout.

Also see:

The best ways to cool down after a workout

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