Cooling down after exercising is just as important as initially warming up. While many people may take the post-workout cooling down period for granted and just skip it, they do so at their own peril. When your body is cooling down, your muscle temperature goes down, the rate of your perspiration goes down and makes your skin feel cooler, your respiration rate goes down and then your heart rate goes down. But for the attainment of all around fitness, properly cooling down and even relaxing should be pursued after each and every workout. If you have failed to make properly cooling down a part of your workout routine, you had better add it.
Guard against Injury
Like with pre-workout stretching or pre-workout routines, post-workout cooling down works to guard your body against injury or serious conditions of all kinds. Cooling down properly allows your respiration rate and your heart rate to gradually slow down, which comes with the benefit of putting a lot less stress on your body than if you would just cut off your exercise abruptly. Some of the things you may experience if you stop your workout abruptly and fail to properly cool down are dizziness, fainting and even nausea. An easy way to cool down involves something as simple as just jogging or even walking a little faster than normal, both of which keep the blood flowing all through your muscles. If you fail to cool down correctly, blood may pool up in your muscles, primarily your leg muscles; this can lead to things like soreness, cramping and stiffness.
Attention to Your Muscles
Cooling down post-workout provides benefits to your muscles. After any exercise, your muscles tend to shorten to lengths that are in fact shorter than what they were before your workout. The cooling down exercise of stretching actually allows you to prepare your muscles for stretching once more. If you fail to stretch your muscles post-workout, you could run into the trouble of developing muscle fibers that actually become permanently shorter than what they once were. Because of the shorter length of your muscle fibers, you may then be more susceptible to stiffness, injury and soreness every time you do a workout. The areas to focus on while stretching are your calves, quadriceps and groin.
If you ask a bunch of folks who regularly practice the right cooling down period after any workout, one of the most common and consistent answers you get is that they feel a sense of mental relaxation and even a sense of being mellow. This is due to the mental and physical calm that follow a session of working out. If you value a good sense of peace of mind after you have exercised, you should want to cool down to better appreciate the effects of your workout.