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Regular exercise leads to overall better health, from walking and running to swimming and cycling and everything in between. According to the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), regular physical activity improves brain health, helps with weight management, reduces the risk of contracting certain diseases, strengthens bones and muscles, and much more. But regardless of which exercise one chooses to engage in, it is always a good idea to warm up first since doing so can prevent injuries. Into cooling down, there is also something to be said for cooling down after a good workout.

The Benefits of Cooling Down After Exercise

Having established that a good warm-up can help keep injuries at bay, cooling down for 5 to 10 minutes after exercising can help deliver those same benefits and then some, notes an article published by the Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit academic medical center in Rochester, MN. According to researchers mentioned in the article, cooling down for just a few minutes facilitates a much faster return of an individual’s pre-exercise level heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure, all of which can do a lot to minimize muscle stiffness and soreness. What’s more, that same faster resumption of an individual’s heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure can contribute to the following:

  • A much quicker return to normal breathing
  • Lowers the risk of fainting
  • Prevents lightheadedness
  • Reduced lactic acid buildup
  • Stress relief and relaxation

How to Cool Down After Exercising

For about 5 to 10 minutes after exercising, most personal trainers advise their clients to practice yoga, rehydrate, and partake in light stretching. Although doing these things might seem inconsequential and even a complete waste of time, they can go a long way toward enabling you to quickly recover from the mildest to the most intense workout routines.

Bottom Line

Warming up and exercising regularly can significantly improve your overall health. But taking just a few minutes to cool down afterward is an equally important part of that equation.