Cooling Down Is Important For Less Pain And Faster Recovery

Many of us assume the most important part of working out is actually working out. Wrong, those amongst us who are constantly saying “I’m in a bit of a rush and won’t bother with cooling down” are doing themselves absolutely no favors, unless they are looking for injuries. Those extra 10-15 minutes can literally be the difference between getting out of bed the next morning pain free and a serious injury. If you are short on time, cut your workout down to enable a proper cool down. Cooling down is important for several reasons:

Cooling down can help prevent those dizzy spells and even fainting that can occur when you stop a vigorous workout suddenly. If you stop suddenly, the blood can pool in those large muscles away from your brain (like your legs) leaving your brain oxygen and blood deprived, hence the giddiness and fainting.

Cooling down is also important for allowing blood pressure, and pulse and respiration rates to return to normal in a safer manner.

Cooling down will also help the muscles start to clear out any lactic acid build up produced from a  vigorous workout. This in turns assist with muscles repairing themselves faster.

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can also be minimized with a proper cooling down routine. DOMS is a term given to that sensation following a new or vigorous workout that you can encounter 1-2 days after the workout. DOMS can result in muscle stiffness and pain that is severe, making all activities feel almost impossible.

Ways to cool down.

There are a few different ways to cool down, depending upon your level of fitness and what type of activity you are doing. Whatever your fitness levels, the cooling down process involves a slower form of activity followed by stretching and then re-hydrating and refueling the muscles.

* Re-hydration and refueling
involves drinking adequate amounts of fluid, such as water, as well as perhaps a sports drink if the workout was intensive and resulted in heavy sweating. Fuels in the forms of foods such as fruits, complex carbs, and low fat proteins are all good selections for replenishment.

* The less advanced.
For those who work out more for pleasure and fitness a fairly simple cool down will be sufficient. Try for 5 minutes of your workout at a slower rate, for example slow to brisk walking, a slower speed on the exercise bike, or a slow jog if you were running, with deep breathing. The deep breaths will assist with returning oxygen to parts of the body that may be oxygen deprived.

* Gentle stretching for 5-10 minutes after this, ensuring that you include all the muscle groups that have been given a workout. A good rule of thumb is to stretch for about 10 minutes for each hour of exercise. Each muscle group should ideally be stretched 2 or 3 times each for about 20-30 seconds each time. Another benefit of post workout stretching is that your flexibility will improve dramatically since your muscles are already nicely warm when you are stretching in the cool down.

* The more advanced will need a 10-15 minute slow down of the activity that you were doing. For example a slow jog instead of running, a slower speed on a bike, or a slower walk. It is a great idea to carry on with the activity you were doing, just with less intensity. The more intense the workout, the longer the stretching should go for. A more professional athlete could be stretching for up to 20-30 minutes after a strenuous workout.

* Rug up. If you are exercising in a cool or cold climate, or in a gym with exceptionally chilly air conditioning, you may find it necessary to throw on a jacket or an extra layer to prevent your body from becoming too cold while you are cooling down.


Cooling down is just as an important part of working out as warming up. A thorough cool down consists of slower activity, stretching, and adequate hydration and food. Cooling down allows the body to return to its pre-workout state, aids in recovery, and minimizes the chances of injury and delayed onset muscle soreness.

Workout Activities That Burn Calories The Best

We are all pressed for time. Most of us would like to think that when we are exercising we are actually burning up those calories most effectively. Ever wondered what are the best activities that burn calories? Since one pound equals 3500 calories, an activity that burns 500 calories per hour will after 7 workouts, have allowed you to lose one pound.

The amount of calories an individual will burn can fluctuate wildly due to factors such as body weight, gender, fitness levels, and level of exertion.

There are many calorie burning charts you can access to more accurately assess your personal calorie burning figure. Most workout equipment will have a calorie burned program set in the console.

We have compiled a list of some of the best calorie burning workouts. The activities on our list will burn at least 500 calories per hour for the average woman weighing 150 pounds. Men will burn more calories doing the same workout as a woman.

* Rollerblading can burn up to a staggering 900 calories per hour.
* Running 6miles per hour will burn 850 calories.
* Elliptical machine at a very hard level can burn up to 700 calories per hour.
* Aqua aerobics performed at an intense level can burn up to 700 calories per hour. This low impact workout is brilliant for any one suffering from injuries or joint problems, and is also great for toning muscles.
* Rowing at an intense pace will burn 700 calories per hour.
* Jump rope. This inexpensive piece of workout equipment has to be great value for calorie burning. An intense session with a rope (125 jumps/minute) can burn 850 calories per hour. A moderate workout at 70 jumps/minute will burn 700 calories.
* StairMaster. An intense workout on the StairMaster can burn up to 700 calories per hour.
* Power walking will burn 600 calories per hour. (Note that this is better than jogging at 5 miles/hour for calorie burning.)
* Exercise bikes can burn anywhere between 550-700 calories per hour depending on the intensity of the program.
* Jogging 5 miles per hour will burn 500 calories.
* Aerobics at high impact will burn approximately 500 calories per hour.
* Cross country skiing uses about 500 calories per hour.
* Swimming vigorously will burn 500 calories per hour.

Running versus cycling

Many people will look at the above chart and see all those calories burned by running and go off and get themselves a treadmill. While a treadmill will burn more calories per hour it is important to figure out whether you have the stamina to run for 60 minutes. Most people will find it much more achievable to workout for one hour on an exercise bike like the Life fitness 9500 exercise bike than to run on a treadmill.

The other important thing to remember is that the treadmill is much more high impact on the knees and ankles than an exercise bike. Many people find that they become bored or injured on their treadmills, but can easily and happily keep going on an exercise bike. A life fitness 9500 exercise bike has 13 levels of resistance to suit any level of fitness, and along will all the other features you would expect, will tell you how many calories you have burned.

By utilizing the workout programs preset in the bike you can really give yourself a very intense workout. The programs are often also set up in such a way so as to alleviate boredom with games and contests to beat yourself. The last major difference between a treadmill and an exercise bike is the potential for injury from a fall. While it would be quite hard to fall from your exercise bike, people can and do fall off treadmills. This can make for a nasty injury.

There are many activities that you can do to burn 500 calories or more per hour. Many of these activities are free or relatively inexpensive. Rollerblading, in particular, is a great calorie burning activity that the whole family can participate in. Select a couple of activities that you really enjoy, and mix your programs up. This will help counter boredom and repetitive type injuries from occurring.