What is post-workout cooling down and what is it for?

Even if less experienced sportsmen still sometimes underestimate it, most people are aware of how much warming pre-workout is essential to avoid the onset of injuries as much as possible and to make your body ready for the effort you are about to make.

The same awareness, however, is not present when it comes to the post-workout phase, i.e. cooling down or cooling downwhich many skip over not considering it important.

Even if at the end of a particularly demanding fitness session the desire that often takes over is to abandon yourself to rest, it is important not to give in and stay focused for a few more minutes.

In fact, like heating, cooling is essential to allow the muscles to gradually return to their standard resting condition and minimize the onset of injury.

Unfortunately, there is no standard time frame for doing this because everyone’s body is different and needs its own time to unwind after a workout, determined by many factors.

Benefits of cooling down or cooling down

Cool down or cool down after a workout it shouldn’t be optionalalthough after a long training session, spending additional time in the gym may seem unappealing. If you don’t want to get injured however it is essential to pay attention to this phase.

Furthermore, after training the muscles are warm and flexible and are in the ideal condition to be stretched and improve their flexibility. Consistent post-workout stretching can also help you improve over time the range of motion, mobility and movement patterns during the actual workout.

In addition to preserving the physique, the cool-down can also prepare it for the next fitness appointment e improve your training session.

In fact, every time you train, tiny micro-tears are created in your muscles, which your body repairs by producing stronger muscle tissue. Often, however, this process is accompanied by muscle soreness delayed onset (DOMS). By pumping more blood to your muscles, however, cooling down can help prevent this condition and muscle soreness in general the day after a tough workout and get you in much better shape the next day.

How long should the cooling take

As already mentioned it is difficult to establish a perfect recovery routine because there is no ideal amount of time to cool down after a workout.

In fact, recovery depends first of all on how long and hard the training was, which is why it is always better rely on a personal trainer to understand which are the most suitable timing for your case.

Although technically, it can be argued that the time it takes for the body to return to its relaxed state before training almost always fluctuates 4 to 6 minutesand therefore this is the period to dedicate to cooling down, it is good to keep in mind that the personalized approach is the best one.

The more intense the workout, the longer the recovery should take, and while the 4 to 6 minute interval may be enough to cool down some people, for others it may not even be enough to stop sweating.

In addition to asking an expert for advice, to understand how long a trick is to cool down pay attention to heart rate and breathing. After a cool down, your heart should feel stable and you should be able to hold a conversation. If these conditions do not occur, it is better to continue the cool-down.

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Different types of cool downs depending on the workout

Strength training

As mentioned above, the cool down largely depends on the training that precedes it and on the muscles worked. If you are focused on the legs with a strength workout, stretching the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and hips it’s the best thing.

Self-massage is also a great way to cool down. To do it using a few minutes a foam roller or massage gun should do the trick.

Cardio workouts

After a run, swim, or bike ride, it’s ideal to spend several minutes walking at a slow pace to reduce the heart rate. Stopping immediately after a cardio session is too much of a shock to the body, while slowly decreasing the pace to that of a walk helps control the heart rate and preserve the muscles.

High intensity training

Usually, high intensity training (HIIT) involves a combination of strength exercises such as push-ups or squats and cardio done as quickly as possible.

Being one hybrid session of cardio and strength in the cool-down phase is necessary slow down recovery time like after a run, gradually allowing your heart rate to drop and once your breathing slows start to stretch and massage your muscles.

Source: www.my-personaltrainer.it

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