Raise your hand if you have never skipped cooling down after your work out sessions. We all have done it at some point. Sometimes, it’s lack of time or the feeling of hunger that strikes at the last set of your exercise routine. Skipping those five to ten minutes of cooling down is much more common than skipping warming up.
You might question yourself which are the repercussions of not cooling down after workout? Is it really worth your time?
In this blog we are going to explain what cooling down means, some of the benefits and see why it is truly important for your performance and recovery.
What does cooling down for you?
As the name indicates, cooling down is the short time period after a workout session that is allocated to static or active exercises and stretching that aim to slow down your heart rate and cool down the muscles you have trained during the exercise.
Cooling down exercises are easier as they don’t require great strength or stamina and they help your body transition from intensity to relaxation.
Does cooling down positively effect your body?
There are many studies that have researched this topic and there are many different opinions on the answer. However, all researchers seem to agree that a good cooling down session that includes some stretching exercises helps your muscles recover faster and be ready for the next workout. It is important to mention that cooling down cannot always prevent muscle soreness after an intense exercise routine.
Important benefits of cooling down
1. Slows down your heart rate and your breathing
Cooling down for as little as 3 minutes can help your heart rate and breathing return back to normal so that you avoid the feeling of faintness and lightheadedness.
2. Prevents injuries
Just like warming up, cooling down helps to prevent injuries as muscle tears. Furthermore, constantly skipping cooling down slows down the process of muscle recovery.
3. Minimizes the build-up of lactic acids
Lactic acids tend to build up in your body after an intense workout session and can lead to muscle cramping and stiffness. Cooling down helps the process of releasing lactic acid so your body can recover quickly and efficiently.
4. Take the time to stretch your muscles
Even though forgetting to cool down sometimes might not be too detrimental for your body and health, it is important to dedicate these five minutes to complete your exercise session and enjoy the optimal results of your efforts whilst helping to avoid pain and muscle stiffness.