Using classic techniques, like static stretching and using a cool down walk, to help you cool down after a run
Making sure you cool down after a workout is essential. If you don’t you could suffer from delayed onset muscle soreness, left knee and right knee joint pain, blood flow issues and more.
There’s a reason people bang on about it so much – it’s vital. But not just so you can carry on working out and developing your fitness lifestyle, it’s so you can also function in day-to-day things.
There’s nothing worse than an injury that stops your fitness routine and stops you from working properly, driving comfortably or even walking.
So, if a cool-down workout is like taking your car to the garage for its MOT, what exactly should our dirty dungaree’d mechanics be looking for?
It’s not just about benefits it’s about reducing risks. Every part of your body, be it your left leg, right leg or hey even your left hand. In order to accommodate you should try everything you can. If you don’t, you could end up with –
- Lightheadedness and dizziness
- Lactic acid build-up
- Muscle soreness and stiffness
Simple but effective – walking outside is a great way to cool down. Walking around after your run will help you to lower your heart rate and cortisol levels (stress chemical), putting you on the left foot (wait is it the right foot?) of your next training session. Also contributing to this classic method’s benefits is, of course, the ability to unwind mentally.
Soft tissue work
Soft tissue work is essentially using cooldowns to de-stress, untighten and relax strained muscles, lowering the likelihood of cramps, pulled muscles and muscular fatigue during your next workout.
Lauren Orris Running writes, ”Foam rolling can serve as a functional cool down. Foam rolling doesn’t just feel good; it sends signals to the brain to relax the muscles, and it actually decreases your perception of soreness.” and then goes on to explain how dynamic stretches can help to reduce the risk of injury and muscle-based issues.
You could try exercises like the adductor rock back, the floor scorpion, the deep squat, the couch quad and hip flexor and a few others. Stretches really help you to do a range of things that naturally make your workout cool down worth it (and don’t worry if you start off a little inflexible, begin with a slight bend if needed and develop over time) –
- Increase range of motion
- Improve overall performance
- Improve your posture
- Increases blood flow throughout your blood vessels
- Helps with stress relief
- Calms your mind
- Helps to decrease headache potential
These are just a few of the reasons stretching should be done, there are even more out there, so get them learned now.
Now you’ve taken advantage of a proper cool down, dynamic stretching exercises and blood pressure reduction, you can carry on working out in the best ways for you.
Are static stretches bad?
They’re not bad but they’re not proven to help with injury reduction, certainly not as much as dynamic stretches.