Kristofer Klith | Fitness and Sports Instructor, Personal Support Programs
A proper cooldown should have 3 focuses; lowering heart rate, relaxing tissues, and decreasing muscle soreness. To allow this to happen in a safe effective manner we use a two-step process. The first step is slowing down the body with a light aerobic exercise for 5-10 minutes to allow for oxygen to reach the muscles and to flush out lactic acid that causes muscle soreness. This could be activities such as walking, jogging, or biking at a very light pace.
This should be followed by static stretches that allow the tissues to return their resting state and alleviates tightness and soreness that most people have felt after a tough workout. Now this may not eliminate the effect of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (also known as DOMS), but it will decrease the severity. The stretches should be focused on which muscles were focused on during the workout as these will require more work to get back into their resting state.
Each stretch should be held for at least 15-30 seconds on each side to allow for the stretch to allow the muscle to relax. An effective cooldown should take 10-15 minutes, however certain populations such as seniors and athletes may take longer for their tissues to relax and to safely decrease heart rate. If you want more tips and tricks on how to be more effective and efficient in the gym, feel free to check us out on Instagram @PSPKingston or on our website at www.pspkingston.com