If you’ve read about dynamic warm-ups, you know how important it is to include it in your routine. But a discussion about warm-ups wouldn’t be complete without including talk about stretching and cooling down after a workout.
A warm-up prepares your body for higher intensity exercise by increasing your heart rate and core body temperature, and loosens up your muscles and joints. It also helps you mentally prepare for what you’re about to do.
Why Cooling Down After a Workout is Important
Walking or an easy jog after a workout gradually brings your body back to normal levels.
It can be thought of as the reverse of a warm-up. Where a warm-up gradually increases blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, and breathing rate, a cool-down will bring down your blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, and breathing rate.
Cooling down also prevents blood from pooling in your legs. After exercising, blood will collect in the working extremities because your muscles are no longer contracting and pushing the blood in your veins back up to your heart. This can result in dizziness or fainting.
So after a hard effort, don’t just stop and sit down. Keep moving so that the physiological changes your body has gone through will gradually return to normal levels. This is why cool-downs are included in every Rise Endurance workout.
As for static stretching: Save it for after your workouts. Studies have shown that static stretching actually reduces the power your muscles can produce for up to two hours. And that’s not something you want during an important race.
During a good dynamic warm-up, you actively stretch out your muscles and your joints go through a full range of motion. And that’s exactly what you want before your workouts.
Static stretching after a workout not only feels good, but is great for increasing flexibility. It’s also great for stretching out those tight areas we all have; for example, the hip flexors in triathletes and runners.
So what are your favorite post-workout stretches?Share the love! - - >