How to Warm Down After A Workout

Warming down, also known as cooling down, is a must-do at the end of every workout session. The purpose of warming down is to get the body into a normal, stable condition after exerting it vigorously. A warm down session should be at least 5 to 10 minutes, or longer if the workout has been an especially tough one.

Step 1: The first step to take when warming down is to gradually reduce the intensity of the exercise you are already doing until you reach a complete stop. If you’ve been walking, running, cycling or so on, just slowing down and taking deep breaths as you do so is enough to help your heart rate return to normal. Some exercise machines have a “cool down” function you can use so that the machine can gradually decrease the intensity for you.

Step 2: After your exercise session has come to a complete stop, it’s time to stretch out those muscles. After exercise your muscles are more elastic as they have been warmed up, so stretching them out at this point will increase muscle flexibility and also release the tension built up in them during exercise. Stretching should be done for at least 5 to 10 minutes for the best benefits, with more being better. Stretch out the major muscles in your legs, back, neck and arms as those are the muscles which would have been used the most when you were working out.

Step 3: The last step to warming down effectively is to rehydrate your body. Exercise uses up your body’s water supply. Replenishing this water supply is important to reduce your body temperature and decrease muscle soreness. The amount of water you should drink depends on your body weight and how hard you’ve exerted yourself, so you have to be the judge.

Additional steps you can take to warm down include drinking a protein shake after your workout to replenish the supply of nutrients to the muscle and lightly massaging the muscles you have worked out. These are optional, but do help in reducing discomfort from muscle soreness.

Warming down properly may not seem important but it’s a must if you’re going to exercise. Warming down properly will help reduce soreness and help you make the very most of that workout – leaving you raring to go again the next day!