After You Walk
What are the benefits of a cool down?
Do not stop suddenly after vigorous exercise, as this can be very dangerous. Gradually
bring the body back to its resting state by slowly decreasing the intensity of the
activity. After running, for example, one should walk for one to two minutes. Stopping
exercise suddenly can cause blood to pool in the muscles, thereby reducing blood
flow to the heart and brain. This may cause fainting or abnormal rhythms in the
heart which could lead to serious complications.
Your cool down should include the following:
- 3 to 5 minutes of easy exercise. Be sure that the easy exercise resembles the type
of exercise that was done during your work out. For example, if your workout involved
a lot of power walking or running, cool down with easy jogging or walking.
- Include some deep breathing as part of your easy exercise to help oxygenate your
- Follow with about 5 to 10 minutes of stretching such as those performed during the
- Re-fuel. Both fluid and food are important. Drink plenty of water, plus a good quality
sports drink. The best type of food to eat straight after a work out is that which
is easily digestible. Fruit is a good example.
Cool-down exercises following performance or practice
- Really pay off the next morning with less stiffness
- 10-15 minutes is recommended. Hold each for a long 5 count.
- After vigorous activity muscles may tend to cramp or experience fatigue and discomfort.
- Stretching muscles their entire length, holding, and then relaxing helps to alleviate
Below is a suggested cool-down routine
- RAISE ARMS OVERHEAD – 5 reps
- TOUCH OPPOSITE SHOULDER and hold, keeping elbow up – 5 reps each arm
- BEND NECK to the right then to the left – hold each for 5 counts- 5 reps
- HANDS BEHIND HEAD, elbows out to the side – 5 reps
- CLASP HANDS BEHIND HIPS and roll shoulders outward – 5 reps
- MAKE A FIST and bend wrist downward – 5 reps
- STRAIGHTEN FINGERS and straighten the wrist backwards – 5 reps
- FINGERS SPREAD then relax – 5 reps
- TOUCH TOES- Extend legs straight out in front and reach down to toes
- CURL UP- Bend down so chest touches knees, let arms dangle. Hold for a few seconds,
then curl up slowly- one vertebrae at a time.
Breathing right is as important as exercising right. Always breathe in when relaxing
muscles and breathe out when tightening muscles. Never hold your breath during exercise.
Try to breathe in slowly through your nose while expanding your stomach. Then breathe
out through your mouth. Time breathing in should match time breathing out.