Cooling down after working out is one of those things many people forget to do, or just have no intention of doing at all. As far as the workout is concerned, for many people this is the least important part than can be neglected without consequence.
If you think that cutting that extra time out of your workout by not cooling down is saving you time and energy, you would be wrong. In fact cooling down is the most effective way in which you can reduce delayed on set muscle soreness, or when you don’t get hit with the fatigue till 30-60min after you are done working out.
Also you want to consider a post workout cool down because doing so can really help with your flexibility and in turn your range of motion through exercise. Your muscles are as loose as they’re going to be right after a workout, and there is no better time to give them some deep stretches to help improve that flexibility.
If you are a person who exercises regularly at the gym, especially on the cardio machines, you probably have noticed a cool down setting on these machines. They exist for a good reason, in that you should use them after you’re done with your routine.
These devices are perfect for people who are unfamiliar with cooling down after exercise, and really have no clue as to how much and for how long. Many common pieces of cardio equipment have a built in feature that will do so for you, so take advantage of it.
Don’t forget that cooling down after strength training is just as important as it is for endurance training, so do so there as well. After you are done with your lifts, do some dynamic exercises using no weights like lunges and squats to give those muscles a good stretch.
Many people neglect stretching because they feel that they don’t need to do so, but really they are hurting themselves by not doing so. Stretching after exercise has shown that it can help to reduce soreness the next day.
Stretching helps to do so because it maintains proper circulation through the muscles in question, the ones who were just used and as a result were damaged to an extent. Stretching helps facilitate blood flow to the area, providing the muscle tissue with the necessary nutrients it needs to adequately recover and grow.
Ideally you should be stretching for 30-40minutes after exercise, but if you aren’t doing so already the chances of you doing so for that long aren’t too high. You can get away with stretching for only 10minutes or so afterwards if done so in an effective manner.
To do so, you are going to want to stretch as much muscle as you can simultaneously, like extended leg stretches which work the hamstrings, glutes, and calves.
One major issue many people have when it comes to getting the most out of their workout generally speaking is that they cramp up too early as the result of dehydration. This is because many people don’t start rehydrating until it is too late, like after they start feeling thirsty.
To prevent this, you should be hydrating yourself throughout your workout when possible, as well as before and afterwards as well. Weigh yourself before and after you work out and look at the difference, that is how much water you have lost just through one exercise!
Another thing you want to do is to eat properly, which goes without saying. The thing is many people know they need to eat properly but don’t know how to go about doing so.
One of the key things to maintaining all of those gains and mass after working out is to fuel yourself properly, and you should start by doing so right after you workout.
After you workout, your muscles are the most hungry for fuel and at the same time your metabolism should be through the roof as well.
This is the best time to eat, and if you are looking for a post workout meal, arguably the best thing is chocolate milk. It has the right profile of fat, protein and carbohydrates your body needs to recover, and is very convenient also.