Thursday, 2 August 2012

Winding down

Something I omitted from my previous blog on sports performance was the benefits of a cool down.

Now most of us know we should cool down and stretch after exercise but tight schedules and probably not thinking it's that beneficial means that most of us skip the cool down.

It might seem easy relative to the rest of your workout, but just 5 minutes of low resistance cardio at the end of your workout can make a noticeable difference in your recovery reducing muscle soreness and speeding up the rate at which your muscles get stronger and fitter.

When you cool down you keep oxygen flow to the muscles and give them a chance to clear the built up lactic acid which can make them feel sore.

Your heart is also a muscle and cooling down let's it recover in a controlled way instead of going through the shock of going straight from a high heart rate down to a resting one.

But don't take my word for it - watch any Olympic swimming and you'll know that straight after a race the swimmers go straight into the cool down pool for a controlled cool down to make sure they're in the best condition for their next race.

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