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Workouts are a great way to get your blood pumping and build strength. Practically everyone knows the importance of warming up your body before engaging in strenuous physical activity. But it’s not uncommon for people to forget or skip the cooldown when their workout is complete. After all, your body will cool down naturally once you’ve stopped your exercises, right? Wrong.

A proper cooldown is actually critical to the workout process, and it can actually save your body from injury. We prepare our body for the temporary strain of exercise, and we must also prepare our body when returning to normal activity. Let’s take a closer look at what a cooldown does and how it can help you after your next workout.

  • Heart Rate. Your heart rate increases naturally during strenuous physical activity. After a workout, heart rate can remain elevated for some time. But a sudden lack of activity can cause your heart rate to plummet, leading to dizziness or fainting. Help your body transition slowly as you bring your heart rate back to normal.
  • Breathing. An increase in breathing helps your body stay strong under the demanding conditions of a workout. That being said, your body isn’t designed to sustain heavy breathing for long periods of time, especially once you’ve returned to a resting state. Gradually slow your breathing with a cooldown.
  • Temperature. Sweat will help regulate your body temperature while working out, but you’ll still feel warm after you’ve completed your regimen. A cooldown can literally help your body cool down.
  • Blood Pressure. An elevated blood pressure ensures that your muscles get the blood volume they need during exercise. But this may lead to blood pooling, and its effects can continue after a workout. A gradual cooldown will help bring your blood pressure back to normal, thus avoiding the risk of nausea, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Muscles. After getting warmed up and working hard, it’s important to stretch your muscles. Be sure to do this while they’re already limber from your workout. Post-workout stretching can reduce the potential for injury, and it may also reduce the onset of soreness and discomfort over the following days of recovery.

Now, you see why it’s critical to have a smooth transition from heightened physical activity back to baseline function. Cool down after a workout by stretching, jogging lightly in place, or doing a full-body shakedown. Your body will thank you!

For more wellness tips, follow the DiBella Chiropractic Center blog. If you’d like to learn more about our practice or schedule an appointment, contact us today!

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