Hot Mama Cool Down

 

We usually like to see cool downs that are anywhere from 5-10 minutes in length.

Purpose of the Cool Down:

  • Prevents blood pooling so blood can pump back to your heart, if you suddenly stop exercises, you’ll often feel light-headed and some people are prone to fainting, so if you’ve just done a difficult workout, you’ll need to continue to walk and move around to prevent blood pooling;
  • Removes lactate from the muscles more quickly;
  • Reduces adrenaline faster which may aid in recovery;
  • Reduces muscles stiffness for injury prevention (although this is totally debatable and I challenge this train of thought a bit, but I’m a nerd and like research).

Guidelines:

  • A good cool down is usually a continuation of the activity you’ve just finished, but at a much less intense level;
  • Continue to move at a lower intensity until you feel your heart rate has decreased (e.g. you can no longer hear your heartbeat pounding in your ears, you can breathe freely and talk full sentences);
  • Stretch, stretch, stretch the muscles you just worked.

Here is a sample cool down following a run workout:

  1. Slow jog for 2-3 minutes
  2. Brisk walk for 2 minutes
  3. Slow walk for 1 minute or until heart rate returns to “normal”.
  4. Hamstring, quadriceps, hip flexor and calf stretches.

Stretching:

  • Stretch the muscles that you used in the workout;
  • Don’t forget about your upper body, even if you’ve just done a cardio workout…we hold quite a bit of tension in our upper bodies while doing cardio, so release the tension there;
  • Hold your stretches anywhere for 30-60 seconds
  • Stretching should feel slightly uncomfortable, but never painful.