Cool Down After a Workout

Do you experience a tingling sensation in your palms and feet even hours after your exercise session is over? Do you feel bushed after a workout? Or demotivated to exercise again? Chances are that you have not cooled down sufficiently. The cool down is a series of exercises performed to bring the body temperature and functions back to their normal level.

This is an important phase for the body as it gives you time to recover from the demands of exercising and allows you to return to the resting state. During the cool down, your heart is still pumping large amounts of blood in order that the muscles are continuously replenished with energy. You should monitor your heart rate before, during and after the cool down to have definite proof of the body’s cooling down.

A cool down is essential as it:

  • Prevents heart complications.
  • Prevents muscle soreness, spasm and tissue damage
  • Checks dizziness
  • Prevents joint stiffness or instability. This could result from overexertion or damage to connective tissues like tendons and ligaments
  • Increases the flexibility of those areas which you don’t want to stretch during warm-ups, such as hamstrings and lower backs.

After a workout, the body tries to get back to the resting state. It normally takes about one to two hours for this to happen. Your recovery time is dependent on the intensity and duration of your regimen, your fitness and the environmental conditions in which the exercise was done. Additionally, the cool-down cycle involves the most rapid changes in the body. Thus, it’s important that you know the right way to cool down. You know you’ve overdone it when even after many hours and days of the session if you:

  • Are always tense and can’t relax.
  • Suffer from anxiety and nervousness.
  • Feel a trembling sensation in your extremities (arms and legs).
  • Lose your appetite.
  • Have a raised heart rate and your body constantly dissipates heat.
  • Suffer from muscle soreness and joints pain.
  • Don’t feel motivated to exercise.
  • Feel exhausted in the mornings.
  • Sluggishly perform future exercises.
  • Suffer from injuries due to overuse of body parts.
  • Can’t sleep at night.
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Thus the cool-down cycle involves the most rapid changes in your body. So it’s important that you know the right way to cool down.