Runners: What Are the Best Ways For You to Cool Down?
Cooling down after your fitness regime is almost as important for your wellness and wellbeing as doing the actual exercise itself! Sometimes, however, people can be so focused on their weight loss or fitness goals that they just want to plunge straight into an exercise, plough through it and then stop as soon as they are done, not taking the time to properly warm up or cool down.
It is vitally important that you do take the time to warm up and cool down, however. Warming up prepares your body for the forthcoming workout and helps to guard against any injuries by warming and gently stretching the muscles. Conversely, the cooldown gradually eases your body back into a resting state and helps to prepare you for the next workout, leaving you supple and strong rather than aching.
Walking after you have been for a run is the best way to transition the blood from actively working muscles to the normal resting flow patterns. If you simply stop abruptly, the blood pooling can cause dizziness, so you should aim to slow down to a walking pace after a run and walk for a few minutes, enabling your body to cool down.
The slower you transition, the better off you will be, so the best thing to do is around three to five minutes of brisk walking at first followed by gentle walking. Try to think of it as exiting the expressway, transitioning from a fast speed to a gradually more normal one.
If you have time, it’s also a great idea to spend around five to ten minutes after your run doing drills for strength, form and mobility. Then for an additional five to ten minutes, you should do full body flexibility moves, such as stretches and foam rolling.