When you heard the term cool down, did you think of relaxing in your favorite lawn chair in front of the ocean? Doesn't that scene above look awesome and inviting? Living in Phoenix it feels like it's already been summer for a while. (Sigh) ... a girl can dream of being by the ocean, can't she? Just so you know, when I say cool down I'm referring to the period at the end of your exercise session. It's a very important component in exercising and one that's often skipped by many. Often people don't take the time or they don't realize how important it is.
So, let's get back to Fitness Friday business, OK?
Maybe this photo won't be so distracting and get us (me) back on track. Did it work?
Let me put on my nurses' cap for a moment. Yeah, when I went to nursing school, we actually had to wear those white caps (along with white hose and uniforms; yuck!).
When you exercise the goal is to get your heart rate elevated for a period of time (20-40 minutes). If you suddenly put on the brakes and stop, there are a few things that can happen, depending on how conditioned you are.
Your blood pressure can drop suddenly causing you to become dizzy, nauseous or possibly even faint. Believe me, I've seen it happen too many times. It's so easy to avoid this too.
All you have to do is to simply end your workout by slowing down your pace for the last 3-5 minutes.
- If you've been walking rapidly, slow down to an easy pace at the end.
- If you've been bike riding, slow down at the end and pedal easily.
This allows your heart rate and blood pressure to return to normal before you stop. And it helps to prevent you from getting injured too.
I mentioned on another Fitness Friday post about the importance of stretching. I won't review that now but you can always click here and read all about it. At the end of your workout and cool down, it's a great time to stretch.
One more thing ...don't forget to replenish yourself with lots of fluids throughout your workout and particularly during your cool down period. It's easier to do when you're not bouncing or running. During the summer when it's hot you tend to sweat more so that means ...more water.
Keep hydrating yourself throughout the day and not just during exercise.
By including a cool down time:
- You're going to feel better
- Replace fluids lost during your workout
- Help prevent muscle soreness
So why not add those important 5 minutes to your exercise? You'll be glad you did.Now, don't forget to hop over to Sandy's blog at God Speaks Today. She's our host of Fitness Friday and I think other bloggers are starting to join us on a weekly basis.