The cool down portion of your workout is just as important as your warm-up and workout itself! Skipping this vital step can contribute to decreased flexibility, extra muscle soreness the next day, or even post-workout dizziness and nausea! Follow these 6 easy steps for quick and easy ways to cool down.
Keep moving: For at least 10-20 minutes after your workout, keep your body active and moving. Depending on how vigorous your workout, you’ll need to keep moving to maintain steady circulation and reduce your risk of injury. Stand up, move around and walk slowly to keep your energy up as you cool down.
Stay hydrated: Drinking water will help replenish lost fluids in muscles and joints, and can help you to cool down naturally.
The right gear: Make sure you’re wearing breathable clothing during and AFTER your workout, especially if you’re sweating. This clothing will help pull moisture away from the skin and aid in cooling your body down better than cotton.
Don’t forget to breath: There is a breathing technique in yoga called Cooling Breath or Shitali Pranayama. It can be done by rolling your tongue, curling the sides toward the center to form a tube. Stick the end of your tongue out between your pursed lips. If you can’t curl your tongue, just purse your lips making a small “o” shape with your mouth. Inhale through the tube of tongue. Exhale through the nose. Repeat 5-10 times as you feel the cooling effect.
Find some shade: If you’re outdoors, seek shade as you cool down and stretch! Escaping the hot sun will help your body to cool and hydrate faster.
Stretch: After strength training or cardio, make sure to stretch your muscles. Your muscles are warmed up and they are more elastic and pliable. This is when you’re going to see the benefits in flexibility and decrease in next-day soreness.
So embrace that hot, summer workout! As long as you remember to cool off with these helpful hints, you’ll feel as amazing as you look!