Fitness Made Fun

Fun Cooling Down Techniques For After You Exercise

Cooling down is just as important as a good good fitness warm up.

If you do not cool down after an exercise, your blood tends to pool in your legs because you are using them pretty intensely in almost any type of exercise. This pooling of blood can actually cause dizziness, and even blackouts.

By cooling down after intense exercise, you can prevent yourself from being sore and stiff the next day. It also helps bring your body slowly back to its normal state, Think about it; after doing hard exercise, your body is pumping full of blood, hormones, and all kinds of chemicals that keeps the energy flowing. However once you stop, it stops producing these chemicals.

By doing a light cool down workout, you give your body a chance to recoup and get itself back to normal. By not cooling down after your exercise, it is like doing a full out sprint and trying to stop on a dime. It just does not work and you probably will not feel too great after you just smacked the pavement going 15mph.

Cooling down gives you time to relax and recoup. Here are a few ways to cool down.

  • Duck Straddle - This consists of squatting down to the floor and walking around like a duck. Try this out until you feel the slightest burn in your legs, and stop. Wait 10-15 seconds and try it again. Try this about 3 times. It helps to stretch out the muscles in your legs and butt, while also giving them a slight workout if you only do it for a few seconds.
  • Revised Walking - This might look a bit silly to people at the track, but walk as you normally would except taking long strides, very long strides. Your strides should be long enough that you feel a nice, slow stretch in each step in your legs. Kind of like a small lunge. Do these slow and controlled so you are not bouncing the muscle.
  • Roller Massage - Yes, this is exactly how it sounds. Treat yourself to a nice massage! You can use almost anything to give you muscles a nice post-workout massage, but rolling pins work very well. However you can use almost anything with a cylinder-like shape. This helps to loosen up the muscle even further, while releasing toxins.
  • Kick-boxing - If you haven't noticed by now, I love to kick box. I think it's one of the most productive forms of conditioning out there, and gives you more safety at the same time! Kick-boxing for cooling down should be done very slowly. Remember, you aren't trying to get any kind of training out of this but you're just doing it to slow your body down. I even like to do this slowly enough that after each punch I stretch the shoulder/arm for a second or so. This will help keep your upper body nice and nimble.
  • Good Old Stretching - Although this is about the most way of cooling down, it is very important. This is what will give you the flexibility to perform better in everyday activities. In my opinion, static stretching (the stretching most people perform, such as trying to touch your toes) should be done only after the muscle is fully warmed, like after a workout. Stretch a muscle cold and you risk tearing it. Stretch while it is warm and it will be just a little bit longer and more capable of handling more pressure the next time you need it.

You should make it a point to try and figure out your own cool down activities after your workouts. I keep it to about 5 minutes or so. Whatever you do, do something to cool down.

Related Pages

Fitness Warm Up

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