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by John Harris Fitness

As you should already know, a cool down after your workout is just as important as warming up. Now it's time to make the most out of your cool down. Whether you've just finished a run, weight training, or a bodyweight session, if your cool down consists of a short jog and calf stretches, it's time to make some changes! If you're dedicated to your training, you should invest a few minutes in a proper cool down. This is where you bring your body temperature, heart rate, and breathing back to normal. This time, we'll reveal the benefits of a cool down and how to best calm your body after an intense workout.

The aim of a cool down is to calm your body and return it to a normal state. Cooling down brings several benefits. By dedicating enough time after your workout to wind down, you're not only reducing the risk of sports injuries, but also shortening your recovery time! In the long run, your training results will improve and become achievable more quickly. The post-workout phase is also crucial for building muscle mass and enhancing endurance.

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What to Do During Cool Down

First and foremost – no matter what and how intensely you train, staying well-hydrated is especially important, as water serves as a transport medium for nutrients in your body. So, start your cool down by drinking enough water. Then, gradually lower your heart rate. To achieve this, engage in different movements than those during your workout. For example, runners could do a 10-minute easy walk or bike ride. After that, consider light massages or muscle stretches. Using a foam roller for self-massage is a great way to relax your muscles. However, exercise caution during stretching or massage to avoid further strain on your muscles.

Sauna sessions can also be part of your cool down routine. The heat increases blood circulation, which in turn stimulates recovery. However, it's important to leave a 30-minute gap between your training and sauna session for your circulation to recover.

First Phase of Cool Down

In the first step, you should lower your cardiovascular activity. During the active recovery phase, reduce the intensity of your exercise. This will lower your heart rate and stabilize your cardiovascular system. However, cooling down doesn't mean becoming too cold!

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Second Cool Down Phase

This phase focuses on muscle recovery, reducing heart rate, and achieving mental relaxation. Your aim here is to decrease muscle tension and balance any muscular imbalances. Gentle movements also help remove and break down metabolic waste products, such as lactate.


As some may already know, post-workout nutrition plays a significant role in recovery. After a tough training session, your glycogen stores are depleted. The 15 minutes to two hours after your workout is when your body is most receptive to nutrients. This is the best time to replenish your energy.

It might be surprising, but sleep is also crucial for recovery. While you sleep, your body does the real work – your extended cool down. Unbeknownst to you, numerous repair and rebuilding mechanisms, especially in your muscles, take place while you're asleep. Aim for a minimum of 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, as regenerative hormones are released during this time. And remember, keep your smartphone and laptop away from your bedside!

We wish you lots of fun and success in achieving your training goals!


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