The Cool Down
"The foundation on which good jogs are made of"
Why bother to cool down, you may wonder...
Many of us feel exhausted and sometimes drained after a good workout session.
That's usually because you did not allow your body (and heart!) to slow down to its resting state.
Not properly cooling down may result in injuries, soreness and cramps. How does this happen?
Your body is not allowed to go back to its pre-exercise state and suddenly stopping will result in blood pooling in your lower extremities.
Also, waste matter is not flushed out properly when blood stops flowing when you suddenly stop moving.
So, continuous blood flow is needed to flush out waste matter that builds up while exercising.
Not cooling down also causes unnecessary strain on your heart.
Therefore, The primary purpose of cooling down is to ensure your body goes back to resting mode.
This is by ensuring your breathing returns to normal and your body is sufficiently adjusted to prevent muscle soreness and tightness.
A good cool down session consists of two components which is continuous movement and stretching for an equal amount of time.
Here is a rough guide on what you should do after you finish your jog :-
1. Keep moving or walking for an extra 10 minutes.
This is the best way to reduce your breathing levels.
It also ensures blood does not pool in your legs and is circulated back to your brains and heart, that is, your central circulatory system!
When you are no longer perspiring, start the second part of your session.
2. Next, do some stretching exercises.
Please make sure your heart rate has returned to normal before you start stretching.
This should take up to 15 minutes. Do three repetitions of each stretch/exercise. You may repeat the same stretches that used when you did your warm up.
It is extremely important that your hamstrings, calf, hip and lower back are completely stretched out and you are not sweating anymore.
So remember to cool down for a total minimum of 30 minutes and you'll have an painless and fun time jogging!
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