Alright, you survived the workout! So what do you do now? The cool-down phase of the workout is going to play an important role in your body’s recovery and return to a “cool/cold” state. In many ways the cool-down is similar to the warm-up, using similar phases, just for a different goal.

General Cool-down: This allows you to decrease your body temperature, lower your heart rate, and remove waste products (lactic acid, hydrogen ions, etc.) from the muscles you just worked. A general cool down can be as simple as a slow jog (or walk) on the treadmill, an easy to moderate pace on the exercise bike, or a relaxed pace on the elliptical. Moderate to light intensity for 5-15minutes.

Static Stretching: This is “traditional” phase most people think about when they hear the word “stretching.” Static stretching is primarily used to increase flexibility and over time will greatly improve it. Static stretching is also very good as a final part of the cool down to return your body to a relaxed state and lessen muscle soreness in the following days after an intense workout. This phase is also very good to use in the mornings, just after waking up, to jumpstart your day and improve overall flexibility. It is of primary importance to stretch the muscle groups you just finished working, but also very important to stretch the other muscle groups as well. This phase should be considered very light intensity and go on for a period of 5-15minutes.