You probably heard for years that cooling down after exercise is important, but you might not have ever stopped to think why that is. It’s a part of a lot of people’s exercise routine, but how many people actually know the benefits to cooling down and what happens if they don’t take time to cool down at the end of their exercise session?
Why is cooling down after exercise important? If you don’t know and you don’t fully understand its health benefits, then you may skip the cooling down time every so often. Might that be dangerous for you? I want to discuss why is cooling down after exercise important and what it means for your body. I want to share with you why it’s so essential that you take time to do this part of the exercise routine every time.
Once I talk in depth about cooling down after exercise, you may feel just as strongly as I do about it.
What Is a Cool Down Period?
Let’s start by defining this period of the exercise routine. When you cool down, that’s a slower pace and less intense exercise pattern. So, if you regularly do pushups at about 20 per minute, you may slow that down to about 10 or 15 per minute. Essentially, the cooldown period is slower than your regular pace.
Cooling down can be all sorts of things. You may stretch to cool down, reducing tension from your muscles and helping to prevent muscle soreness later on. That’s what a lot of people do for their cool down period.
You may also try jogging in place, lifting weights slowly, or any other activity that’s done at a relaxed pace and that allows your heart rate to decrease safely and gradually.
What do you do to cool down may depend on what kind of exercise you do for your workout. If your exercise involved swimming, you may want to cool down by doing a relaxing lap around the pool. It may mean that you lay on your back and do a few strokes. You’re still doing exercise and engaging in activity, but you’re doing it at a leisurely pace.
If you run for exercise, the cooldown period can be going from running to jogging and then down to walking. You want to make the cooldown portion of your exercise session last long enough to get your heart rate down to close to normal level. If you’re not sure if your heart is still beating very fast and if you have cooled down enough, you can put your hand to your chest and test for yourself.
Why Is Cooling Down after Exercise Is Important?
Exercise can kind of be stressful on your heart and your blood vessels. At the same time, exercise is great for your circulation and your heart health, but you have to do it properly. If you don’t give your body time to warm up or cool down moving into and out of your exercise session, you can put undue stress on your heart.
Think of your heart like a car engine. If your engine has been turned off for most of the day, and then you suddenly turn on the car and gun the engine, that’s not going to be good for your engine. That’s the same thing that exercise without cooldown and warmup portions does to your heart and your blood vessels. It stresses them out and causes damage that can be long lasting.
Cooling down can help to regulate the flow of blood and it may help with muscle stiffness and soreness after exercise. That will depend on what kind of cooling down you do, though the research isn’t definitive in that area.
How you cool down is very important. You want to make sure you’re going gradually from the state of intense exercise or heavy activity to medium and then lower activity until your rest. If you go from intense exercise straight to rest, you’re stressing out your heart and making it difficult for your heart to get the strength it should be getting by doing cardio and other kinds of exercises.
It’s not a bad idea to get some cooling down ideas based on which kind of exercises you like to do. Cooling down doesn’t have to be the same thing every time. Switching it up can help keep your workout feeling fresh.
The Benefits of Cooling Down
Cooling down after a workout can help your body adjust to changes in blood pressure, activity level, and heart rate in a way that is gradual and safe. It eases your body out of the intense workout mode. Even if your workout doesn’t feel very intense, it’s still a good idea to have a cool down portion.
Here are some of the health benefits of cooling down after exercise.
Protects the Heart
Cardiovascular exercise can strengthen your heart, helping it last longer and keeping your circulation clear and free. On the other hand, overexerting your heart and not giving it enough rest can be damaging to it. If you exercise too much and your workouts are too intense, you can actually hurt your heart over the long term. Instead of strengthening your heat to make it last longer, you’re having the opposite effect.
This is true as well if you don’t have a cooldown period at the end of your exercise session. You’re hurting your heart by pushing it too hard and then going straight from intense activity to resting. Your entire body has to adjust, and your heart is taking the brunt of that sudden adjustment. You’ll protect your heart and make sure it lasts longer by ensuring there’s at least a brief cooldown period at the end of your exercise sessions.
Regulates Blood Flow
Taking time to cool down after your workout helps your circulation. Your heart and your circulatory systems are connected, but I want to talk specifically about the benefits to your blood flow. It ensures that your blood flow is properly regulated so that you don’t have high blood pressure or low blood pressure.
For someone who’s suffering from hypertension, a cooling down period after exercise can help significantly. It can prevent risks for them and keep them safe, and it’s more important for someone with hypertension than just about anyone else.
Ensures Gradual Recovery
Your body needs time to heal after workout. It has to rest and recuperate, and it’s very difficult for it to do that if you’re not exercising properly. The cool down portion of your exercise session is essential for proper recuperation. It helps your entire body to heal in the way it is supposed to. If you don’t have that cool down period, your body is going to struggle to recover from workouts. That means you’ll be more fatigued and you may have difficulty doing a workout the next day. This can affect your mood, muscle development, energy levels, and more.
A lot of people are in the dark about cooling down after a workout. They may not be sure how to do it or what is good for. You might have had some of the same questions, and perhaps seen “why is cooling down after exercise important” Quizlet questions that left you wondering. Now you know the facts about cooling down after exercise and what makes it so vital to your health. It’s part of a properly balanced exercise session that ensures you get the most benefits and that reduces health risks for you.
As great as exercise is for you, doing it right is important. Just like you want to make sure you have the right form when you do pushups or lift weights so that you don’t injure yourself and so that you get all the benefits from working out, you also need to ensure you use a properly designed exercise session. You want to get the most out of it and keep yourself safe so that you can keep working out and keep hitting those goals and milestones that you set for yourself.