Cooling down the stretch is a very known term amongst the people who are there into physical exercise. It is also known as warming down and limbering down. Cooling down stretches are some amalgamations of exercises that help your body to get fixed and rested after a long hour of strenuous exercises. During the gym session or some intense sports activities, cooling down stretches are performed to get your heartbeat into order and it also helps to reduce the dizziness of your brain.
Just like a vehicle needs proper servicing after long tours to get its machines fixed into order, similarly, our body needs cooling down stretches after a rigorous gym session. It ensures that all your body muscles are working properly, and it also prevents muscle soreness after strenuous exercises. The relationship between mind and body is disrupted during the hectic training schedule. Cooling down stretches comes here to re-establish that relationship between your mind and body.
Cool-down stretches are more famous amongst athletics. After their strenuous training, they are more likely to get several body aches. Several studies have shown that athletics who are in the habit of doing cool-down stretches are less prone to get injured during their rigorous training.
Why Cool-down is so important after strenuous exercise?
Cooling down stretches enable bodies to return to a daily life situation after the exercise with a smooth transition from restlessness to a calm and composed position.
- It can control your heartbeat and take it back to normalcy after some hardcore exercise.
- Cooldown stretches gradually lower you’re your body temperature when it is at a higher rate after the workout.
- It consequently relaxes your muscles that have become stiff with the weight lifting.
- With the cool-down exercises, you can normalize the blood circulation in your veins.
- It also helps you with your psychological system after the strenuous workout.
Benefits of cool-down stretches
The above discussion quite elaborately described the various methods and benefits accompanied by the cool-down stretches. Avoiding the after-session routine may prove to be taxing on the tones muscles you so dearly worked for. Cooldown stretches restore flexibility after a strenuous workout. Without proper relaxation, the muscles may remain sprained causing mild to a severe threat to the body.
Apart from maintaining a proper routine of cool-down stretches, one should also be serious about hydration, nutrition, and sleep schedule. The circadian rhythm of the human body decides the productivity of the human being. Keeping your sleep schedule right will be way more rewarding than you can imagine. The food should be rich in collagen as they are the repairing elements the body needs. Proper hydration is a big task for it keeps the function of each organ and tissue of the body in check.
Effective Methods of Cool-Down You Can Follow After Any Exercise
Ten minutes of your everyday life can lower the risk of serious injury while performing some tough exercises. 10 minutes of cool-down exercise will bring your heart rate to normalcy. It will provide your muscles relax and will lead you to a healthy life. Your body pressure and temperature will be in control with the 10 minutes of your daily schedule. Some of the most effective cool-down stretches are mentioned below with few simple steps to follow them. Calm the muscles of your body after a strenuous workout or a hearty cardio session.
- Simple Jogging
Normal walking or jogging is the best way to cool your body down. 5 minutes of jogging after you have completed your exercise sessions, will help you immensely to normalize the heart rate and blood pressure. You need to repeat that set of 5 minutes jogging once. If you are unable to do jogging after the strenuous exercise, normal walking would the same benefit to you.
- Upper Body Stretch
- First, from a comfortable seated or standing position, you need to interlace the fingers of your hand and then press the palms upwards.
- After that, place your hands up and back as far as possible with your spine straight.
- Next, you need to set your left arm against the right and turn the palms facing one another, and then stretch your hands upwards and backward.
- Repeat this stretching two to three times.
- Forward Bend
- Seat on the floor and extend both legs.
- extend your hands towards the leg and try to bend slowly.
- Then, try to touch your feet with your hands and bend your body on your legs.
- Hold this position for up to 40 seconds and repeat it 3-4 times.
- Knee to Chest Exercise
- Lie straight on your back on the floor with one leg bent or extended.
- Drag the other leg towards your chest and release the first one that you bent.
- Keep doing this with your alternative legs and try to drag them close to your chest as much as you can.
- Do this exercise repeat 3-4 times.
- Reclining of Butterfly Pose
- Lie with your back on the floor, and keep your both feet touched with your knees at the outside like a butterfly shape.
- Rest your arms horizontally along with your body.
- Stay in this position for up to 4 minutes.
- The happy child poses
- This cool-down stretch is similar to the pose displayed by an infant who is getting ready to stand for the very first time, hence, the ‘happy child pose’.
- Reach your arms forward to gain a tabletop position, sink back and sit on the knees.
- The chest should be falling heavily on the thighs just like a child does while standing up with the help of their arms.
- The final position is the resting head on the floor. Holding this stretch for 1-3 minutes relaxes all the muscles of the body.
- Standing quadriceps stretch
- This stretch is most effective after a good run.
- Stand in a way that your legs are aligned to each other.
- Bent your knees so that your heels are touching the buttocks and hold the ankles in place with your hands. You can use both hands initially until you master this cool-down stretch.
- Maintain this holding position for a whole minute.
- Now, move on to the next leg. Practicing the stretch 2-3 times for each leg is enough for a single session.
- The downward-facing-dog pose
- This particular cool-down stretch has its origins in the Patanjali Yoga Sutras.
- The pose is as simple as the name implies (or maybe not). At all points of time in this stretch, you will have to keep your spine straight.
- Assume a regular plank position with arms stretched out in front. Spread out the fingers of your palm on the floor.
- From the plank position push your hip back in an upwards direction.
- Hold the stretched position for a whole minute.
- The classic forward bent
- Sit with your legs stretched in front of you.
- Bend one of your legs so that it meets the thigh of the other leg.
- Stretch out your upper body in a way that your torso is making a right angle with your lower body.
- Stretch out your arms above your head and bend forward trying to keep the stretched-out leg straight.
- Try to touch the toe of the stretched leg and hold the cool-down stretch for up to a minute.
- The butterfly pose
- For this cool-down stretch, you have to lie on your back.
- Pull the soles of your feet inwards and hold them.
- The knees are pointed outward in this stretch resembling the wings of a butterfly.
- Now release your soles and keep your arms alongside or over your head.
- Hold this posture for at least a couple of minutes.
Mankind is exploring some of the ancient methods of body fitness and mental harmony. The study of Yoga has been extensively researched in recent years. Here is something for you to practice which will not only calm the throbbing muscles of the body but also bring peace to your mind. Explore the magic of Yoga.
Some cool down stretches for the young ones
The kids of the twenty-first century are gradually drawing away from all the physical activities and confining their world to digital gadgets. In times like this, the caregivers should be taking crucial steps for the young ones’ fitness and health. And sometimes the workout schedules of kids prove to be strenuous. Cool-down stretches are as much important to them as they are to adults. Tender muscles and growing nerves should know how to relax. Some of the most useful stretching and muscle relaxing practices for the kids are given below.
- Gentle spinal twist
- For this cool-down stretch, you have to lie on your back and relax for a moment with your legs stretched out.
- Next, pull your right knee close to your chest and hold with the help of your hands.
- Now gently twist it aside. Hold this posture for a whole minute or two, but DO NOT push your body. It may sprain the muscles instead of relaxing.
- Repeat the procedure for the opposite side.
- Static marching
- The name of the stretch implies marching movement while standing in the same spot.
- Keep your arms extended by your side at shoulder height.
- While marching mark an imaginary circle with your arms, once in a clockwise direction, and then in the anti-clockwise direction.
- In addition to cooling down the muscles, this practice with help the kids to gain better coordination.
- Electric shock stretches
- In these stretches, each part of the body needs to be stimulated one after the other.
- Starting with the right hand, then shaking the left hand, and moving the same to the feet.
- Continue for 15-20 minutes. Music with this particular stretching is a tremendous combination.
The mind-body connection
It is needless to talk about the adrenaline rush the fitness fanatics get after each session. You have been there and you like the dopamine surge. Most of the gym rats do not focus much on after-workout sessions. The cool-down stretches are as much important as the high-intensity workouts. Relaxation rejuvenates the muscles and preps the body up for strenuous workouts. If the after-workout sessions are repeatedly denied, muscle and bone cell degeneration is witnessed.
The cool-down stretches increase the reception of endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain killers; (endo= internal; morphine= pain reliever). The stretches help the body deal with the effect of high intensity and rigorous training quite naturally. Apart from the increased secretion of endorphins, the body also releases serotonin. Serotonin is regarded as one of the most effective ‘happy’ hormones. According to various researches, happy hormones keep chronic sadness and depressive disorders at bay.
With extensive effects on the proper functioning of the body, the mind also learns certain aspects from these regular, consistent cool-down stretches. An optimum increase in attention power and concentration is observed in people practicing a cool-down routine. The mind maturely regulates emotions and adopts strategies to cope with stressful situations. Those practicing yoga along with regular exercises have power over their mind. They learn to stay calm in a variety of situations.
As much as the intensity training is important for the fitness fanatics, so much should be the after-session stretches. The sprains and spasms from the workout should be soothed after each routine. The body needs to produce endorphins for natural pain relief. The kids as well should be made aware of the disadvantages we may face due to sprains. Old age is also a crucial period. the physiologists recommend elderly people to workout at least twice a week, but the trainers suggest the relaxation practices should be carried on for the whole 7 days of the week.
Apart from the cool-down stretches, the fanatics should pay attention to their diet and sleep routine. Keeping the body in check with the biological clock will change a lot of things. A dietician may be consulted to discuss the most effective diet plan for gaining a body goal. Set up your after-session cool-down stretches and pull up for the next workout routine with a bang.