|You've finished your workout & you
feel great! Time to cool down to ensure you are ready to go for your
When your workout is finished and it is time to
stop exercising, gradually decrease the intensity of the activity.
By slowing down and therefore reducing the demand of oxygen to the
working muscles, the heart muscle will slow down, but still provide
oxygen to the brain. If, after an intense workout, you stop
straightaway, there is a good chance that the blood will pool in the
worked muscles, taking the blood and oxygen away from the brain.
This pooling can lead to light-headedness, fainting and abnormal
rhythms in the heart; a cool down period after strenuous exercise
reduces this affect, helps remove lactic acid build-up and helps to
stretch the worked muscles to improve flexibility.
After a cardio workout, like running, slow your
pace down to a slow jog or walk for a few minutes (3-5 minutes).
Keep your arms moving, and breath deeply, getting the heart rate
down to approximately 10 beats above your resting heart rate.
Whether you had a strength-training workout with
weights, a sport specific training or a cardio workout, all your
muscles and joints are still warm; this is a great time to improve
the flexibility and mobility of your muscles and joint tendons.
Start by taking the working muscles through an optimal range of
motion, relaxing and reducing muscle tension. By relaxing the
muscles you are stretching, you will be able to extend further to a
point where tension is felt in the muscle. Hold that stretch for 15
to 30 seconds. Release that stretch and then repeat. Perform
stretches on all the muscles that were used in the activity and
especially any muscle group or area that feels sore. Remember to
stretch only to the point where tension is felt. Do not overstretch
and do not push or bounce into the stretch.
For more information on flexibility check out our May