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Originally Published: May 24, 2017

Whether you took an energizing group exercise class, went for a run, or worked out around the club with a trainer, a good cool down is important! We asked a few of our Group Exercise Directors at acac for their insight.

What does a cool down do for you? 

  • Normalizes body functions such as heart rate and blood pressure
  • Calm, controlled breathing helps to lowers the body temperature
  • Prevents post-workout dizziness and fainting
  • Static stretching helps repair and recover the muscles from strenuous demands, and enhances performance for the next workout or daily activities

. . . 

A simple cool down method:

  • Maintaining movement, slowly reduce your pace or intensity each minute for approximately five minutes.
  • Once you feel your heart rate has calmed down, stretch each large muscle group slowly for approximately 10 to 20 seconds each. You should not stretch to the point of pain, but to the point of feeling some resistance.
  • Don’t forget to breathe!

. . .

What you might experience if you skip the cool down:

  • Excessive muscle soreness or weakness
  • Lessened or poor exercise performance on the next workout
  • Loss of appetite or sleep

. . . 

What is a good post-workout snack? 

Don’t forget a snack!

A combination of a simple carbohydrate to replace your energy stores (glycogen) with protein for muscle repair within the hour of your workout should help you have a great recovery.

Some examples:

  • Apple or banana with peanut butter
  • Chocolate milk or coconut milk
  • Yogurt with berries
  • Almonds and grapes
  • Fruit smoothie with protein powder 

. . . 

Happy cool down!