Four Ways to Cool Down After a Workout
A cool-down is important after any workout to gradually reduce the heart rate and return the body to a resting state. An effective cool-down can also help reduce muscle stiffness and soreness.
1. Cool-down after cardio
After your cardio workout, slow your speed gradually to a light pace for 5-10 minutes. This will help flush out lactic acid from your muscles, preventing soreness. It will also assist with muscle repair and recovery.
Stretch each major muscle for about 30 seconds. If a particular muscle group is sore, spend more time on that area. It also helps to stretch before your workout, not just for the cool-down. The major muscles that should be stretched are your quads, hamstrings, glutes, chest, arms and shoulders, and core and back areas.
After any workout, it is important that you replace the water supply you lost during your workout. Replenishing the fluid that you lost is an important part to your recovery. You should replenish with at least 16 ounces per hour of exercise.
4. Replenish the Essentials
Choose a recovery drink that's a combination of protein and carbohydrates. The protein helps to rebuild and repair muscle tissue, and the carbohydrate provide a fast delivery of protein into the cells. Be sure to consume it within 30 minutes after your workout during the time your muscles are ready to absorb the nutrients.