How to cool down
Cooling down is similar to warming up. You generally continue your workout session for five minutes or so, but at a slower pace and reduced intensity.
Here are some examples of cool-down activities:
- To cool down after a brisk walk, walk slowly for five to 10 minutes.
- To cool down after a run, walk briskly for five to 10 minutes.
- To cool down after swimming, swim some leisure laps for five to 10 minutes.
A word about stretching
If stretching exercises are part of your workout routine, it's best to do them after the warm-up or cool-down phase, when your muscles are already warm.
Stretching can improve range of motion about a joint and flexibility. Stretching may also help improve your performance in some activities by allowing your joints to move through their full range of motion. However, studies haven't consistently shown that stretching helps prevent muscle soreness or injury.
Be kind to your body
Finding time for regular aerobic workouts — plus warming up and cooling down — can be challenging. But, with a little creativity, you can probably fit it in. For example, walking to and from the gym can be your warm-up and cool-down.
Aug. 10, 2016
See more In-depth
- Warm up, cool down. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/Warm-Up-Cool-Down_UCM_430168_Article.jsp#.V5P51aKleA8. Accessed July 15, 2016.
- Olsen O, et al. The effect of warm-up and cool-down exercise on delayed onset muscle soreness in the quadriceps muscle: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Human Kinetics. 2012;35:59.
- Basic injury prevention concepts. American College of Sports Medicine. http://www.acsm.org/public-information/articles/2012/01/10/basic-injury-prevention-concepts. Accessed July 15, 2016.
- Rey E, et al. The effect of immediate post-training active and passive recovery interventions on anaerobic performance and lower limb flexibility in professional soccer players. Journal of Human Kinetics. 2012;31:121.
- Law RYW, et al. Warm-up reduces delayed-onset muscle soreness but cool-down does not: A randomised controlled trial. Australian Journal of Physiotherapy. 2007;53:91.
- Peterson DM. The benefits and risks of exercise. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 15, 2016.
- Jamtvedt G, et al. A pragmatic randomised trial of stretching before and after physical activity to prevent injury and soreness. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2010;44:1002.