You have had a hard training session or competition day – adrenaline has rushed through your veins; your heart rate was close to maximum and you’ve sweated it out! But then, suddenly, it is over. Your training session, or competition, is done. What now …?

Anyone who has ever done some form of exercise, is very familiar with the term ‘cool down’. It is a particularly important part of any workout but often gets neglected and/or left out completely.  

There are several reasons why we neglect the cool down section of the workout. These include running out of time as well as the contrast and dullness of it compared to the actual ‘exciting’ workout.  It is therefore important to keep the cool down period fun and stimulating, while still focusing on its main goal – to restore the body systems to resting state.  Cooling down should also be efficient and not take up too much time.

Cooling down should be taken just as seriously as both the warm up and main work out and, to avoid neglect, it should be done in a fun way. There are many theories and ideas on how best to cool down but, to have a fun yet effective cool down, the type and intensity of exercise needs to be taken into consideration. It is probably also much more enjoyable to cool down in a group of two or more than individually. Therefore, it is helpful to have fellow athletes doing the same cool down.

As mentioned above, if it incorporates a fun element, the cool down section will in all likelihood be carried out more diligently. To achieve this, cool down must be active and not just passive. An example – swimming a few laps after your race/training instead of just floating in the pool. Stretching and relaxed breathing techniques can also be incorporated while swimming a few laps in the pool or around the athletics track or even in an open space. The key is to keep moving (at a slower pace than when competing or training) but with a decline in speed and intensity.

Once cooling down with movement is complete, one can then look at more restful ways to cool down.  Deep breathing in various positions is a fun way to decrease both the heart rate and breathing tempo.  Stretching with a group or coach will assist in keeping the cool down effective.

Deep Freeze Cold Gel can help with the body’s cool down process and, when applied, will work wonders after a work-out or race.  It also has a refreshing smell to it.

So remember, to maintain the fun in cool down … do it actively, in a group and with helpful products such as Deep Freeze Cold Gel to help speed up the effect. 

Article written by EPT – The Ultimate Sports Recovery Experts