Maya is the Physical Activity Coordinator for DPH.
Hmmm…. in my previous life I was an exercise scientist and master trainer and I’ll admit, I warned all of my clients about the dangers of not cooling down properly after working out. I was taught, and therefore shared with clients, the “wisdom” of making sure that at least 5-7 minutes after each workout was spent slowing the heart rate down and stretching out. And if that wasn’t done (properly and for enough time), you could pretty much expect to have all your blood pool at your feet and pass out.
Is this all just hot air? Where is the science or the evidence to support that cooling down is a necessary component of a physical activity regimen for the average person? It’s been a few years since I’ve been out of school, and I’ll be honest, I don’t keep up with the latest research from my exercise and science journal articles as well as I should. So, what’s the story?
This article in the NY Times, Fitness and Nutrition section, explores the concept of cooling down a little more. Check it out and let me know what you think. Do you cool down after your workouts? If so, why? If not, why not? Do you feel better after cooling down regardless of what the research says? I know that for me, a cool down signals the “end” of my workout… something in and of itself to celebrate (ha!) but also it’s a welcome form of closure. Today’s workout: Check. Now, to look forward to warming up before tomorrow’s workout. Whether I cool down will be another story, I suppose.
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