5 Reasons Not to Skip the Cooldown
- By Ariane Hundt, Founder of Brooklyn Bridge Bootcamp
- Finish the workout on a positive note. When you end an intense and uncomfortable (yes, that will get you results) workout, you are more likely to come back to it if the last experience of the workout was a positive one.
- Stop sweating. If you've been riding the spinning bike hard or went for a hard and fast run, then walk the last half mile, do some walking lunges, loosen up your hips, and cool your body temperature down. That way you'll stop sweating by the time you hit the shower, or else you'll leave the shower still hot and sticky.
- Calm your nervous system. Constantly pushing yourself to your max isn't a great idea for your stress levels. While short bursts of intense exercise produce great results, you don't want to put your body into an extended stress response. Therefore, allow your adrenaline levels to calm down and finish your workout with deep breathing, deep stretches and movements that make you feel comfortable in your skin.
- Prevent blood pooling. Cooling down isn't just important to let your muscles and heart rate return to normal, but your blood will also be pumped throughout your body much better. Stopping a workout suddenly can make you feel lightheaded or dizzy, so taper off the intensity during the last 5 minutes to return your body back to baseline.
- Stretching is far better AFTER a workout than before. You don't bend cold metal either, do you? Muscles are much more pliable and allow for more effective and deeper stretching when they are warm, so take the last 3-5 minutes of a heart-pumping workout to work on those areas that tend to be tight. Foam rolling is a perfect way to allow muscles to loosen up as the fascia is stretched, which allows depper loosening.