Cool-down periods hold as great a significance as warm-ups, in fact both of them are an essential part of an exercise routine. Warming up aids the body in making a smooth transition from rest to activity, where as during a cool-down, the body cools. Muscle temperature decreases, perspiration rate goes down causing the skin to feel cool, heart rate goes down, and respiration rate goes down.
Add 10 to 15 minutes onto your workout so you can do some easy jogging or walking and then stretch.
It has been observed that too many women wrap up their workouts and head straight to the showers. Stretching and relaxation should be carried out after every workout in order to achieve all-round fitness. Stopping too suddenly can sharply reduce blood pressure, is a danger for older women, besides the cool-down:
- Allows heart and respiration rates to decrease gradually, placing less stress on body systems than if the activity is abruptly stopped. Nausea, dizziness, and fainting are common in individuals who stop activity too quickly. Brisk walking and slow jogging keep the blood flowing through the muscles. If activity is stopped quickly, blood tends to “pool” (remain) in the muscles, particularly in the legs. This causes muscle cramping, stiffness, and soreness.
- Provides an opportunity to stretch the muscles again. When cooling, warm muscles tend to shorten to a length less than what they were before the activity! If a woman fails to stretch after being active, the eventual result will be a long time if not permanent shortening of muscle fibres. She might then becomes much more prone to stiffness, soreness, and injury due to decreased flexibility. A jogger or biker might emphasize stretching the hamstrings, calves, groin, and quadriceps, while swimmers would focus on the groin, shoulders, and back.
- allows the participant time to enjoy the sense of physical and mental calm that follow a workout. “Mellow” and “verrry relaxed” are common descriptions used when women attempt to explain how they feel after engaging in physical activity.
Warm-ups and cool-downs are two elements of every workout which, when properly done, will help ensure the mental and physical well-being of the active individual.