What is cool-down and what is the purpose of it
Cool-down is an opposite process to the warm-up. It’s a form of very low intensity activity performedafter training to return your body to pre-exercise state. It promotes recovery, chills out our mind and helps to remove waste products from the body.
Proper cool-down slows down the heart rate, relaxes trained muscles and decreases the body temperature to the normal level. Although most of trainees don’t cool themselves down it is quiet important part of weight training. It helps to keep us injury-free, decreases the soreness days after the training sessions and speeds up the repair processes.
How to perform a cool down
To cool your body down you should perform between 5-10 minutes of very low intensity aerobic exercise like riding stationary bike, jogging slowly on a tread-mill or simply walking home. Take as much time as you need to slow down the heart rate and chill out. Breathe deeply to provide much oxygen for the whole body.
For the second part of the cool-down apply some static stretching for the muscles groups you were working out that day – perform a stretch and hold down this position for about 20 seconds. Stretching lengthens your muscles and therefore makes them bigger. Take about 5 minutes for that.
That’s it. Whole cooling down process shouldn’t take longer than 10-15 min. You can go home now and consume your post workout nutrition.
On the first look cool-down may look not important however the best athletes always take their time for that. It is nearly as important as a warm-up so don’t skip it. Your body must know that workout has finished and start the process of recovery and growth. It will reduce aches and pains. You will relax much easier and feel better faster. Furthermore it will improve your flexibility and with improved flexibility comes improved performance in almost all areas of life.