Exercising and having a proper fitness routine is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. But to do it properly is key. We have all heard about warming-up before our workouts. But how many of us have heard of cooling down after it?
In this article, we explain and provide tips about cooling down your body after a workout.
Cooling down is a process that should be a regular part of your workout routine, as it helps the body return to its normal state. This should be done whether you are working out in summer or winter, but especially in summer because the body tends to overheat quickly then.
- Low Intensity Exercise and Stretching:
You can start with 3-5 minutes of Low Intensity Exercise followed by 5 minutes of stretching. The Low Intensity Exercise helps your body’s heart rate to slow down gradually and prevents things like fainting or dizziness. Stretching helps the soreness, spasming or cramping of muscles, which can be quite common after a workout. In addition, it also helps to lessen the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles, which is the main reason for soreness.
- The Importance Of Hydration:
Hydrating yourself before you start exercising is extremely important, as it helps to keep your body from overheating and is beneficial in the cool down process. Drinking water an hour or two before you start actually hydrates your body on a cellular level, which makes it less likely to get headaches, stiff or sore after you’re done exercising. But drinking water after you are finished is good too. As you may have perspired a lot during your workout, meaning you have lost minerals as well, which may leave you feeling lightheaded. So drinking water again helps to replace those lost minerals and helps your body, again, fight symptoms like dizziness, headaches, soreness, etc. and return to its equilibrium state.
- A Cool Compress:
Bringing down your body’s temperature is extremely crucial, and along with cool down workouts and hydration, a cool compress, usually to the back of the neck or the forehead, can help. It’s because the back of the neck also consists of the spinal cord, which has nerves that send signals to the brain and increases the speed of cooling down your body. Same goes for your forehead, as it holds your skull and the faster it cools down, the faster the brain gets the message and starts sending the “cool down” signals to the rest of the body, especially the core.
- A Shower:
Let’s face it. Working out is great, but the grimy, oily, sweatiness that is the aftermath is just plain gross. Plus being clean actually makes you feel better after a good workout. So showering is a must. Other than feeling clean, it’s also a good way to get your body to cool down. Most people, since they feel overheated, tend to take cold showers, but scientists have actually theorised that the sudden change from hot to cold can actually be quite damaging to a person’s body in the long run. So the best way is to take a hot-and-cold shower, starting with hot water and gradually changing the temperature towards cold, so that instead of your body getting a sudden jolt of temperature change, it can cool down gradually, which is better for optimal health.
- A Good Lotion:
This is less of a crucial part and more of a relaxing, treat-yourself sort of tip. After a post-workout shower, put lotion on your body. Not something that’ll make it feel sticky, but something that’ll make it feel cool and make your skin feel great.