Your workout is not complete without a warm out. In fact, it is as important as the actual workout and the warm-up.
After an intense workout, your muscles are tired and sore; they need to be cooled down.
Why is this important?
Cooling down helps reduce the level of lactic acid that build up during the exercise thus reducing cases of muscle cramping and stiffness.
Warm out or cooling down is also vital in helping you to gradually recover from post-exercise blood pressure and heart rate.
After the exercise, your body is burning with high temperature, increased heart beat and your blood vessels become dilated.
So if you stop abruptly, it could result in a pass out or extreme fatigue. Doing a physical activity that stretches your body at the end of the exercise gradually brings you to normal condition.
Just like warm-up, cooling down also involves continuing with the workouts but with reduced intensity and pace. It could be the last 10 minutes of your workout. Some of the cooling down activities include:
- Walking for 5 – 10 minutes after intense activities such as running, squats.
- Stretching your body for 1 – 2 minutes especially on body parts that were actively engaged during the workout. Stretching reduces the tension after exercise. It also stabilizes blood circulation and enhances healing of break down muscles.
- The weight that you immediately loose after a workout is normally water. Apart from replenishing lost weight, drinking water improves body strength and flexibility. It also reduces cases of muscle soreness.
- There is no unanimous agreement on this but some research shows that massage after an intense workout can improve muscle recovery.