Cool Down

Just be cool and your workouts will end on the right note. Like your warm up, the cool down is an essential part of any exercise session. It’s a chance to lower your heart rate, to stretch those muscles and take some deep breaths, relax and refocus. Here are some general guidelines to make your cool down an effective one.

You should take as long to cool down as you do to warm up. Generally speaking, five minutes is the minimum length a cool down should be.

If you have done a fairly fast-paced workout that has elevated your heart rate, end your workout with some slow aerobic exercise. Ease your heart rate down by pedalling slowly on the stationary bike or taking an easy walk around the block.

Always include stretching in your cool down. Include stretches for all the major muscle groups but give priority to the muscles you use in your workout and in everyday life.

The cool down gives your pulse, blood pressure and breathing a chance to slow down before you hit the shower. If you’re still sweating when you step out of the shower that’s a sure sign you rushed the cool down. Take your time and enjoy it. Think of it not as something you have to fit in,but as a reward for your hard work.

The Importance of Stretching

Stretching lengthens muscles and loosens the joints to which they connect. Having long muscles doesn’t mean you get longer legs or arms. It just means the muscles are strong, flexible and healthy, allowing you to move more freely, walk without stiffness and bend, reach and twist with ease. Adequate flexibility is also important in helping to avoid injuries and can

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