Whether you train regularly or you’re just getting started, you know that what you do before and after you exercise can be just as important as the workout itself. This is especially true for high intensity interval training (HIIT) or athletes who participate in high impact sports – running, football, etc. When you’re in the game, your body is at level 10, as it should be. You’re exerting huge amounts of energy and focus, increasing your heart rate and blood pressure, and placing (necessary) strain on your muscles.
Enerskin’s cutting-edge hybrid of compression gear and medical grade silicone taping can help protect against injury, but you still need to prepare for your workout properly. That means warming up first, bringing your body to level 3 before you ramp your game up all the way. It also means cooling down, because when you’re at level 10, you can’t just drop down to level 1.
Cooling down after a workout is necessary to help your body transition gradually to resting state. While everybody has their own routine or cool down exercise that works for them, what matters is that you don’t skimp out on this crucial step. The following are four effective ways to cool down.
Stretching after a workout is a great, easy, and soothing way to cool down. Your Enerskin gear works to strengthen your muscles by stabilizing them and maximizing performance. This is essential to an effective workout, but it also means that your muscles will feel the force of the activity. Stretching for five to 10 minutes after you exercise can help relax your muscles.
While stretching all the muscles in your body is ideal, it is important to focus on the muscle groups you worked out—be it your chest, your core, your legs, or your arms. We recommend leaving your Enerskin on while you stretch, to maintain enhanced performance until your workout is complete.
Walking is perhaps the easiest, most time-tested method of cooling down. It may seem like a no-brainer, but in actuality, walking plays a critical role in regulating your post-workout vitals. Walking in a leisurely, calm way helps lower your blood pressure, regulate your heart rate, and stabilize your breathing. It promotes normal blood flow, gradually bringing everything down as opposed to stopping abruptly, which can sharply lower your blood pressure and cause dizziness or nausea. And of course, you’ll sweat during your workout, and walking has a literal cooling effect.
Enerskin, particularly our new E50 series, is ideal for lower-impact sports like yoga. Don’t get us wrong – yoga can be intense, as it requires a high level of focus, discipline, and muscular strength. But because it is low-impact, there is a higher emphasis on breathing control, flexibility, and even relaxation.
You might not have the energy for a full yoga session after you work out, but taking 10 minutes to practice a few poses is a great way to cool down. You’ll find your elevated vitals gradually returning to normal, and you’ll get to stretch those sore muscle. It’s important to note that the E50, which utilizes eight layers of silicone cells for taping, as opposed to the 14 layers of the E70 series, is recommended for low impact activity (i.e. yoga). If you’re transitioning to yoga from a high-impact sport, you can and should still be wearing your E70 gear.
Walking is a cardio exercise, yes, but if you’re feeling up to it, you can try a cardio exercise that’s a little bit more intense, yet still light enough to help you cool down after your workout. Try jogging or power walking for five minutes. You can do jumping jacks, or use a jump rope, and even try running in place for a few minutes. Do you like to dance? Dancing is an effective way to cool down because it continues to work your muscles and keeps your breathing up, but to a lesser extent, and helps you come back down. Plus, it can be fun! If that’s your thing.
No workout is complete without a cool down, and no cool down is complete without a few additional steps. Once you’ve completed exercising, enjoy a light snack – a protein shake, perhaps, or some fruits and nuts – to nourish your muscles so they can rebuild and strengthen. Snack 15 to 30 minutes after your workout, when your muscles are more ready to absorb nutrients. Be sure to hydrate, drinking plenty of water to bring your body temperature down and replenish the water you lose from sweating.