We have covered the warm-up and got you running steady!
Now you have completed your run, let’s cool it down Function360 style. Your cool-down will bring your body back to a resting state as efficiently as possible; it’s the first step toward a prop recovery, which will get you ready for your next session.
The people we meet in clinic often run and sign up to marathons because they enjoy the combined mental and physical health benefits. Small changes like warming up, cooling down and eating well keep the entire training process both mentally and physically enjoyable.
Want to avoid the feeling of dragging yourself out for a run because you haven’t quite recovered from the last one? Yep, I thought so!
- Lower your heart rate in a controlled and gradual way – suddenly stopping your workout can create a fast drop in heart rate, and you risk getting dizzy and feeling unwell (also making poor food choices that hinder recovery!).
- Normalising muscle length and tension to avoid buildup of excessive tension.
- Mental recovery and preparation for your next session.
- Re-fuelling he body so that your muscles can repair quickly and efficiently.
Your cool down should be 10-20 minutes.
- Start with 10 minutes of an easy exercise that resembles your activity: easy jogging at a slower pace, or walking are great options after running.
- Incorporate some slow deep breathing to help oxygenate your system.
- Your heart rate should have gone down to normal levels now; its time to focus on lengthening the muscles and stretching!
Namaste & stretch
Be Gentle. Keep your stretches gentle, you don’t want to use too much intensity so that you pull a ‘pain-face’. Your goal is to promote muscle elasticity and avoid tension building up in the muscles most used during the workout. You are looking to rebalance your mind and body. This is not the time to work on flexibility!
Listen. Throughout your cool down you should pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you. Is there an area that felt tighter or more sore than usual? You should probably pay some attention to that area the following day, with some additional rolling, stretching, myofascial release or deep tissue therapy. And always warm it up more before you next workout.
Function Fact: Learning to spot the clues your body is sending you is the first step towards a proper maintenance plan and staying injury free 🙂