What Are Some Good Cooldown Exercises?
Walking – The key with cooling down is that you want to decrease your heart rate. Taking a stroll for about 2-5 minutes can slow down your heart rate efficiently, earning it a place in our best cooldown exercises. Plus, it keeps the blood flowing throughout your body, which is better for you than sitting down right after working out. Because, if you sit straight down after working out, your run the risk of getting stiff and sore muscles.
Stretching – Speaking of feeling sore, stretching can help keep you limber and pain free the day after you exercise. You know when you go hard in the gym and you’re basically limping the next day from soreness? Well, that’s because you had a buildup of lactic acid in the muscles that didn’t burn away. And, stretching your muscles not only increases flexibility, it can also help burn away that lactic acid that makes getting up the next morning so painful.
Foam Rolling – Somewhat similar to stretching, this involves rubbing your muscles on a foam roll or even a tennis ball. This is great for releasing tight muscles post-workout. It also helps massage them, which increases blood flow to them. And, the more blood flowing through your muscles, the less lactic acid gets caught there. This can even help reduce stress over time, making you feel more refreshed after your workout. Foam rolling is great for keeping your muscles in tip top shape.
Yoga Poses – If you’ve never done yoga, you can search these helpful exercises on the internet to complete after your next workout. First, Downward-facing dog is great for stretching your whole body out. Trust us, you’re going to like how this one feels on your sore muscles. Then, upward facing dog is great for stretching out trunk, pelvis, and hip muscles. Finally, Child’s pose is perfect for just resting and reflecting on your workout, which helps relieve stress. All of these exercises only need to be done for 30 to 60 seconds to get the benefits.
Why Is Cooling Down So Important?
A lot of people skip cooling down after working out. For example, if you lift weights or go for a run, you may not want to put in any extra effort when you’re finished. But, when you work out, your body releases lactic acid in the body. And, that can lead to soreness and pain in the muscles the next day. But, doing some type of cool down exercise can help flush lactic acid out of your muscles. And, that means you’ll be less sore the next day. In addition to that, stretching post workout can make you more flexible and limber, which leads to a healthier body overall.
How Long Should You Cool Down For?
Usually, cooling down doesn’t have to take that long. A big reason so many people skip this step is because they think it takes too long, or they’re too tired. But, cooling down only has to take around 5 minutes to truly be effective. And, it can actually help bring more energy into your body after a workout. So, you can fit it in no matter how exhausted you are. If you really feel lazy, a 2-minute slow walk can give you the same benefits. Trust us, your body will thank you the next day.