Your workout just ended. Now, what’s the next thing you do?
- Grab some water.
- Leave the gym immediately.
- Or none of the above?
Taking some time, even just five to ten minutes, to cool down after you finish a workout is an essential element of your training. And grabbing a water bottle to start rehydrating as you walk off a tough workout is a great way to start the recovery process.
Don’t be tempted to skip the cool down. Here are a few reasons why it’s so important:
1. Your heart rate and breathing rate come back to normal.
No matter how much you might want to sit or lie down at the end of a workout, stay upright. By staying in motion, you give your body a chance to return to its “normal” resting state. Walking around the gym instead of sitting down will make it less likely that you’ll get dizzy or even faint. Your heart rate will gradually decrease, and your breathing rate will slow down, too.
2. Now is the best time to stretch.
The best time to stretch and work on flexibility is after you’ve completed a workout. During a post-workout cool down and recovery period, your muscles are warm, and your connective tissue is more pliable. This post-workout time is the best window of opportunity to take five to ten minutes to stretch.
3. Taking time to cool down starts the recovery process.
Your cool down sets you up for quality recovery after a workout. Coming back to a resting state by staying in motion (ex. walking) flushes out waste as your body comes back to rest. Some light post-workout movements, along with a few minutes of stretching, can lessen the potential for sore muscles and potential injuries in the future.
Be race ready! To learn more about the OCR training programs and fitness classes we’re currently offering at Desert Shield Fitness, contact us today.