Injury Prevention Introduction:
Whenever we perform intensification physical activity, we do a warmup first. Warming up is nothing more than preparing the body mentally and physically for your intended activity and for Injury Prevention. Increased heart rate and increased blood flow facilitate greater oxygen transport to the muscles during warming up. Additionally, a warm-up activates and primes the nerve and muscle connections, which will improve movement efficiency.
While we are all familiar with warm-ups, did you know that your body needs to cool down after completing any activity? Many people consider the cooldown to be unimportant or a waste of time. Cooldowns are just as important as warm-ups, and if you want to avoid injuries, they are vital. Despite being equally important, the warm-up and cooldown serve different purposes. Warming up is primarily used to prepare the body and mind for strenuous activity, whereas cooling down has an entirely different purpose.
We will now discuss what cool-down is and why it is so important.
Concerning physical activity or exercise, a cool-down is any activity, physical or mental, that assists the individual in recovering from physical activity or exercise.
As a result of strenuous exercise or a hard workout, your body undergoes several stressful processes: The muscles, tendons, and ligaments are damaged, and waste products accumulate in your tissues.
The cool-down process will assist your body in its repair process if performed correctly. Among the benefits of the cooldown is that it will reduce the effects of delayed onset muscle soreness.
Dominant overuse syndrome (DOMS) refers to the soreness many people experience 24 to 48 hours after a tough workout. After taking a short break from exercise, or when starting a new sports season, most people experience this During the cool-down, blood is circulated throughout the body. If you suddenly stop, your heart rate and blood pressure might drop rapidly, which can cause lightheadedness. When you wind down slowly, your heart rate and blood pressure will naturally fall.
Many people believe that the cool-down is beneficial for removing lactic acid from your muscles and preventing delayed onset muscle soreness.
The three key steps of cooldown
Let us examine the structure of a good cooldown now that we know what a cooldown does and why it is so important. For an effective and complete cooldown, three key components should be included. They are;
- Gentle exercise (first phase)
- Stretching (second phase)
- Re-fuel (third phase)
All three parts must be given equal attention, and any part should not be overlooked. After exercise, the body requires replenishment and repair from all three elements. Below are two examples of cooldowns to use after exercise. In the first case, a professional athlete uses a cooldown method. General health, fitness, and fun exercise would exhibit the second characteristic.
Cool Down Routines
For the Professional
- Exercise for 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure the easy exercise you do resembles what you did during your workout. If you did a lot of running in your workout, you might cool down by jogging or walking
- To help oxygenate your system, include some deep breathing in your easy exercise.
- Stretch for 20-30 minutes afterward. It’s best to do static stretches and PNF stretches.
- Food and fluids are both important. Ensure you drink enough water, as well as a good quality sports drink. After working out, you should eat easily digestible food. Fruits are an excellent choice.
For the Amateur
- Exercise for 3 to 5 minutes. Easy exercises should resemble those that you did during your workout.
- Take some deep breaths as part of your daily exercise regimen to help oxygenate your body.
- Stretch for about 5 to 10 minutes afterward. It is often best to do static stretching or PNF stretching.
- Re-fuel. You should drink and eat fluids. Have a good sports drink along with plenty of water. After working out, it is best to eat easily digestible food. For example, fruit makes an excellent choice.
Important Benefits of a Cool Down
Although you might be tempted to skip your post-workout cooldown, cooling down has several benefits.
Allows Heart Rate to Normalize
When you exercise, your heart rate usually increases. Aerobic exercise, also known as cardiovascular exercise, can dramatically increase your heart rate.
Especially if you’ve been exercising at a high level of exertion for a long time, you should allow your heart rate to slowly return to normal at the end of your workout. When you cool down slowly after a workout, you’ll avoid feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
Exercise causes your heart rate to increase, which results in deeper breathing. You are burning more calories by exercising hard and working hard. Your breathing can gradually return to the same rhythm it had before you began your workout during a cool-down.
Exercise improves your confidence, one of its most important benefits. It is a great time to take stock of your accomplishments during the workout, and to celebrate the hard work you put in. In addition to boosting your motivation, this can promote relaxation and well-being.
Risks of Not Doing a Cool Down
You might experience some potential downsides if you end your workout with a final rep or sprint instead of a cooldown.
Lightheadedness and Dizziness
Workout causes your heart to pump blood at increased rates to your legs and arms before returning to your body. Stopping your workout abruptly without a cooldown will result in blood pooling in your limbs and the return of blood to your heart and brain is impaired. Dizziness, fainting, and lightheadedness are possible side effects.
It is dangerous to stop your workout right after a rep, no matter if you’re running, lifting weights, or performing high-intensity interval workouts, rather than letting your body slowly adjust to periods of rest and a normal heart rate.
Lactic Acid Buildup
Lactic acid accumulates during workouts, especially when you perform high-intensity exercises. Slowly “flushing out” the lactic acid from your body can be achieved via a short recovery cool down. The active recovery method has been proven to help delay muscle fatigue and enhance training efficiency.