Cool down! Why the cool-down after exercise is so important

cool down

Too cool for a cool-down? A good cool-down improves recovery and increases your performance! Stretching, stretching, walking…? You can do all this

What is a cool down?

The cool-down is the opposite of the warm-up . During the warm-up you prepare your body for the upcoming training session. The cool-down, on the other hand, gradually decreases towards the end of the training.

What are the benefits of a cool-down?

The cool-down slowly cools down your overheated body. Regular cooling may in the long run better training results yield and helps injuries to occur .

Cooling down has many important functions for your body and your muscles:

  1. It supports and accelerates your recovery.
  2. Your heart and blood supply and your breathing can return to normal.
  3. Faster breakdown of metabolic products (e.g. lactate formed during exercise).
  4. You loosen your muscles and the muscle tension decreases.
  5. You have less muscle pain.
  6. You conclude the training – mental relaxation.

Warm up & cool down properly – exercises for the cool-down

There are many exercises for a good cool-down. An optimal cool-down program consists of 2 phases .

During the first phase you take care of regulating your heart and blood supply. The second phase is completely focused on the recovery of your muscles. But your cool-down can also consist entirely of exercises from phase 1 or phase 2.

Cooling-down, the first phase: cycling or finishing

After the training you have to walk slowly or cycle out for 10 minutes. It doesn’t matter what you do, choose what you like best. Do this at a moderate pace . You shouldn’t get out of breath. If you can also chat relaxed, this is the right pace.

By walking or cycling you can relax your heart and blood supply and also your breathing.

Metabolic products created by training (for example lactate) can thus be better disposed of. And it allows for a shorter recovery time. You will be fit again sooner for your next training session.

Our tip: Especially after a strenuous and intensive training, it is strongly recommended to cycle or walk slowly.

Cooling-down, the second stage

The second phase is completely focused on your muscles. During exercise, very small tears in your muscle tissue – the so-called microtraumas – have arisen. With the help of the right exercises you can support the repair of these wounds and your muscle growth.

In addition, these exercises also support the breakdown of metabolic products. The exercises can vary from stretching and stretching to a plunge pool with ice water or a sauna.

Stretching and stretching

By stretching exercises to do, you can use the built-up tension in your muscles decrease . Blood circulation is improved and metabolic products can be broken down more quickly. Choose the right exercises for your workout.

Make sure you don’t make bouncing movements and don’t stretch too quickly and dynamically . Too fast movements have the opposite effect. Your muscles must then alternate between tension and relaxation.

#Sauna or hot shower

After a workout you can also take a dip in the sauna or take a warm shower. The heat dilates the blood vessels, your blood circulation is improved and recovery is promoted.

Your muscles and mind can relax and recover. The heat has a positive effect on sore muscles and can speed up healing.

Our tip: Give your body a short break before entering the sauna. This way your blood circulation can relax. And make sure you drink enough water.

#Hop, in the ice barrel or in the cold shower?

Can’t be cool enough for you? No worries. An ice-cold dip or a cold shower after your workout are also good. The ice bucket is especially popular with competitive athletes. Due to the cold, the blood vessels contract and your blood flow slows down for a while.

Inflammatory processes are inhibited . A cold shower or a dip in the plunge pool stimulates circulation and improves the breakdown of metabolic products.

Our tip : No ice bucket in your gym? You can achieve the same effect with an alternating shower. First, shower with warm water for 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds with cold water. Repeat this for at least 2 minutes.

#Massage and fascia role

A massage or rolling out your muscles with a fascia roll can also contribute to a good cool-down. It loosens up your fascia and muscles and releases tension.

You can also prevent or at least reduce muscle pain. Try to work with a light and gentle pressure . Massaging or rolling out too much will backfire on your muscles.

Conclusion

  • The cool-down is the opposite of the warm-up and concludes your training.
  • Your overheated body is cooled and recovery is improved.
  • You prevent injuries.
  • The cool-down should consist of two phases.
  • You can choose from the following options: cycle, run, stretch, stretch, sauna, hot shower, cold shower, ice barrel, massage or fascia roll.

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