Everyone knows that properly warming up before you workout is vital to keeping your body safe and healthy while you’re exercising. However, what many people fail to realize is just how important cooling down after you’ve exercised is as well. Especially if you’ve been working out very hard or for a long time, your body needs time to cool down before doing anything else.
To help you know just what you can do to slowly get your body back to a normal level of activity and on the road to recovery, here are three tips for cooling down after an intense training session.
First of all, one of the worst things you can do for your body right after you’ve completed a tough workout is to stop moving. To take your body from 100 back down to zero without easing your way there can be very hard on your body and make you vulnerable to injury or other issues.
For this reason, Lisa Freedman, a contributor to Men’s Journal, recommends that you take a slow walk to cool down as soon as you’re down with the bulk of your workout. This can either be done on a treadmill using the “cool down” setting or around the area that you had just finished working out in. Ideally, you should try to walk for about three to five minutes to give your body adequate time to cool down.
Get Your Streching In
Once you’ve given your heart a chance to slow down and cooled your body down a bit, you should then continue on with your cool down sequence by doing some stretches.
According to the staff of the Mayo Clinic, stretching while your body is still warm will allow you to improve your flexibility and get a full range of motion stretch around the joints that you were just training as part of your workout. So while doing some full body stretches can be helpful, taking extra time to stretch the muscle groups that you just focused on can prove to be even more beneficial.
Try Some Simple Yoga Poses
After you’ve completed the cardio and active stretching part of your cool down, the last thing you may want to try is to hold a few simple yoga poses to allow your body to do some final stretching and encourage your mind and body to take a few moments of mindfulness.
One of the best poses for this, according to Angela M. Bell, a contributor to Healthline.com, is corpse pose. In this pose, you allow your body to relax completely and let go of any tightness you have in your muscles. As you breathe deeply into this pose for a few minutes, you’ll bring your body back down to its homeostasis and be ready to take on the rest of your day.
If you’ve had a problem taking the time to properly cool down after past workouts, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you create a healthy routine in the future.