Cool down after a workout? Looking for new ideas?! Try out this new Quick & Easy Cool Down Flow and learn the benefits of adding a cool down to your workout routine, in the latest installment of this month’s Inspired To Be Fit.
Should You Do A Cool Down After Your Workout?!
How are you doing?! Before we got into the benefits of a cool down and how to incorporate one into your workout, thank you so much for all your comments from Friday’s post. It was a tough post to write, but there was this wave of relief when I hit the publish button. Your comments were so supportive and just about made me cry! My heart was so warm! So, thank you for your support friends! Lots of good things for the future and I can’t wait to keep you updated!
Now, if you remember, for the month of March Inspired To Be Fit is talking all things Warm-Up & Cool Down. Last week, I shared my best dynamic warm-up exercises. Today, let’s chat the importance of a cool down.Should You Do A Cool Down After Your Workout? Find out #ontheblog! #fitfluential @fitfluential Click To Tweet
A cool down is essentially the opposite of a warm-up. The goal is to reduce heart and breathing rates, gradually cool body, return muscles to their proper length-tension relationship and restore physiologic system closer to baseline.
Imagine you are rocking out the 2 Move Dumbbell Quickie: 10 minutes on the clock and 2 intense full body moves. Once that 10 minutes is up, you are tired, right? It’d be silly to just walk away and go back to doing what you were doing, right? Uh, your heart rate is up, you are breathing heavy, your muscles are sore, you are perhaps saying a few choice words to me because it was a tough workout and who creates something like that?! Maybe not that last part, but really, you need to cool down. No one like sore muscles.
As a group fitness instructor, there are a few pet peeves I have, but my BIGGEST ONE is when people leave before stretching. STOP IT! You can’t go from doing 35 – 45 minutes of exercise with little rest and then not cool down or stretch!!! If you need to leave before the stretching portion of class, then stretch when you get to your next destination…which is exactly what I tell my classes.
Some options for a cool down include: 5 – 10 minutes of low intensity movement on the treadmill, row machine, elliptical, or bike. Myofascial release is another one of my favorite things to include in my cool down (we are chatting MFR next week!!). Personally, I do a combo of MFR and static stretching/yoga post workout. The cool down below is a snippet of the moves I do on my own and in my classes.
Flow through cool down, holding stretches for ~30 seconds each or 4 – 5 breathes. Complete flow on one side before moving to the other side.
- SHOULDER STRETCH: Stand upright, shoulders back and down, pelvis tucked. Cross left arm in front of your body, using right arm to keep it in place. Should feel stretch in the top, side and front of shoulder. Repeat on other side.
- CHEST STRETCH: Stand upright, shoulders back and down, pelvis tucked. Clasp hands behind back, roll shoulders back and down, then pull arms away from you and down.
- RUNNER’S LUNGE w/TWIST: Come into a low lunge on left leg, ensuring knee and ankle are at 90 degrees, with heel on the ground. Press right heel back and stretch. You can move back and forth. For extra, place right hand on the ground and twist left arm up toward the sky.
- HIP FLEXOR STRETCH: Come out of runners lunge, place right knee on the ground. Rock body back so that right knee is at 90 degrees. Curl right toes under for extra support. Squeeze right glute and press hip flexor forward to feel stretch. For extra, raise right arm and reach towards the left. You should feel the stretch from your knee to armpit.
- HAMSTRING STRETCH: After the hip flexor stretch, rock back so that the left heel is pressed into the ground and the toes pointed up. Aim to draw the left hip back, even with the right and lean body over left quad until you feel a stretch in the hamstring.
- HIP / GLUTE STRETCH: Sit on the ground. Cross right leg over left leg in a figure 4. Draw left leg up and bend knee. Draw knee in as much as possible until you feel the stretch in your right hip/glute.
- INNER THIGH STRETCH: Move legs wide into straddle position. Bending knees, move back and forth stretching inner thigh. Similar movement to a side lunge.
- CAT / COW: Come onto all fours, knees under hips, wrists under shoulders. Inhale, sink belly down and arch back and lift chest through shoulders. As you exhale, draw belly button up to spine, hunch back and tuck chin, while press through hands. Continue to move with your breath.
Don’t forget to add your fitness related posts to the link-up below! While we know nutrition plays a huge role in fitness and overall healthy living, Jill and I would like ITBF to focus totally on the fitness aspect of healthy living. We’d like this to be a go-to resource for workouts and fitness information, motivation and support. If you have a delicious recipe to share (and we know many of you do), come back on Friday and link-up with Living a Life of Fitness Health & Happiness.
Join the party! Add your fitness posts to Inspired To Be Fit Link-up! @jillconyers @fitapproach #sweatpink Click To Tweet
Linking up for Wild Workout Wednesday!
Don’t forget to check out Jill’s workout!
How was your weekend, friends?! Friday, it was sunny & beautiful! The Hubs & I met the besties for breakfast at one of my favorite little spots. We shared a peanut butter, bacon and jelly sandwich on sourdough (along with an omelet each) and it was so good! Afterwards, I helped my mom design a new shop logo, take photos and learn Instagram. Then, the Hubs met me at their house for pizza!
I woke up Saturday feeling the effects of the glutenous and dairy laden pizza: a massive headache and my stomach was TALKING big time. After drinking water and tea and using peppermint oil on my head, I called out for my class and attempted to go back to sleep. The Hubs and I watched a few episodes of Psych and just before noon, we went to Kroger for ice cream because…my Moon Time decided to show up. For the afternoon, I watched the office, ate chips, tweaked the blog and whined over my cramps before finally giving in an taking IBProfen. My Hubs was so sweet and got me a giant bag of M&M’s (in addition to my pint of SoDelicious), but my tummy was so off, I only managed about 8 pieces, an extremely rare occurrence. Oh, the manner of women is such a terrible thing!
We had church Sunday and I helped with check-in. I didn’t have anyone come to my class, which was great because I was not feeling so hot. I finished up some client plans, this blog posts and then just relaxed the rest of the day. Because it’s another 4:30am MORNING!
So, tell me:
Do you cool down after your workouts?
Favorite cool down moves?
What did you do this weekend?!
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