This site was designed for the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer (version 10+). Some features may not work correctly in your browser. OK
How to Properly Cool Down After Your Workout

woman stretching on floor
After an intense workout, cooling down is a must. Not only does it often feel great, but it also regulates your blood flow and prevents a dizzy spell or nausea from occurring. Get the most out of your fitness routine by following these tips for cooling down.
 
Keep moving
 
Even when you’ve finished exercising, it’s a good idea to continue working your muscles so that your heart rate gradually gets back to a normal level rather than drops quickly. This is ideal because it reduces your chances of feeling lightheaded or fainting. If you just went power walking, take up to 10 minutes to walk slowly. Similarly, walk briskly after a run and swim leisurely after swimming laps. After going weightlifting, instead of picking up more weights, try out walking lunges or other comparable yoga poses for the best results.
 
Stretch it out
 
Once your heart rate falls between 100 and 120 beats per minute, spend up to 20 minutes stretching to increase your mobility and flexibility. One relaxing stretch is to lie on your back and put your legs against the wall so that your feet are facing the ceiling. After a yoga or cardio class, lie flat on your back and pull one knee to your chest. Hold it there for about 20 seconds before repeating the movement with the other knee.
 
The runner’s lunge is fantastic for your quads and hamstrings. Kneel down on your right knee and then move the same knee back so that your right leg extends behind you. Keep your other leg bent and put your hands flat on the ground beside your left foot. Another simple pose after jogging is the standing quadriceps stretch. Stand up straight and then bend one knee so that your calf is against your thigh. Grab your ankle with one hand and hold it for 30 seconds before repeating on the other side.
 
Get a massage
 
Every so often, schedule a massage after exercising to promote muscle recovery as well as reward yourself for all your hard work. A proper massage can get rid of knots in your body and minimize swelling. However, avoid getting one that uses too much pressure since this could actually damage muscles. If you don’t want to pay for a massage, grab a foam roller and use it along any sore areas. Place it under your quads, hips, calves, back, shoulders, or another area. Then, simply roll back and forth over it for about 30 seconds.
 
Rehydrate
 
Staying hydrated is crucial to reducing muscle soreness and caring for your body in general. Following every fitness routine, take the time to drink plenty of water. It’s also wise to have a protein shake 15 to 30 minutes after your workout. Select one with about four times more carbohydrates than protein to best strengthen your muscles. If you can’t find a shake you like, drink chocolate skim milk instead.
 
By keeping these tips in mind, your workouts will be even more beneficial for your body, and it will be easier than ever to stay in shape.
 
This article is presented by North Park Lexus of San Antonio.
- + Disclaimers