, like its cousin the warm-up
, is a frequently forgotten member of the fitness family. It's soooo easy to poop out at the end of a fast walk or soccer game. You're so tired, you just want to collapse and rehydrate with water
. Not so fast! Grab your water bottle, but don't stop moving yet. back to top
What happens if I don't cool down after a workout?
Completely flaking when your heart is still pumping hard and you're sweating is never a good idea. Going from all-out effort to total time-out in an instant can lead to injury. And you'll probably have stiff and sore muscles in a day or two. If you stop suddenly, you may become dizzy and disoriented
. All the blood that's been rushing around your body pools in your lower limbs when you stop abruptly. This leaves your head short of blood and oxygendefinitely not a good thing. back to top
How do I cool down after a workout?
Plan on cooling down for five to 10 minutes at the end of every workout. Gradually slow down your cardiorespiratory system
by continuing to do your activity at a slower pace. For example, go from running to jogging and then to walking. As you cool down, you'll feel your heart rate
start to slow down. Your breathing will become more regular, you'll be able to carry on a conversation without difficulty, and you won't sweat as much.
Now that you're cool, you'll want to do some stretching
to increase your flexibility
while your muscles are still warm. Stretch
those muscles that you used during your activity so they won't become stiff and sore. back to top