Do you need to cool down and stretch after completing a three-mile run or an intense Soul Cycle class? Maybe you hear the instructor leading participants through stretches after your workout as you are bolting out the door. What happens when you miss this opportunity? Stopping a vigorous workout abruptly can cause you to feel light headed because your heart rate and blood pressure drop quite rapidly. Post workout stretching and cooling down help your muscles recover after being worked and stressed for an extended amount of time. It is said that the cool down is one of the most important components of a workout. Cooling down after a workout keeps the blood flowing throughout your body.
As for stretching, there are many important reasons to make it a priority after a workout. Stretching can decrease muscle pain and stiffness. It eases tension on joints and tendons, which could prevent injury. Chronic stress from anxiety, fatigue or tension can be decreased as a result of stretching combined with mindful breathing techniques. Stretching regularly can improve overall health by reducing blood pressure, heart rate and breathing rate. Stretching can even improve your quality of life by increasing longevity and improving flexibility.
Stretching and cooling down after a workout have many benefits. Taking just five minutes to give your body and muscles some love post-workout can make you feel better and improve your exercise performance. Who doesn’t want to be faster and stronger in their workouts?