The sudden cessation of activity after a strenuous workout can often lead to dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, muscle cramps, and even worse. All professional athletes and trainers know that a cool down period is mandatory after a good workout. And the best way to cool down after strenuous exercise is to do a series of slow, controlled stretches.
A stretching routine right after exercise keeps the muscles and joints limber and supple. It helps keep the blood circulating at an increased rate, which is especially important if there have been any little tears or abrasions of the musculature during the workout. The healing process always goes faster when there is more blood being pumped to the injured area.
After a long and hard workout it’s only natural to want a big ice cold drink — but caution must be used when cooling down after exercise. Extremely cold liquids dumped into the stomach all at once can cause cramping, and in some extreme cases, even seizures. So cool off with a chilled beverage, but not one that is ice cold. Plain water is the best idea, with some light fruit like apple or orange slices to provide natural sugars and antioxidants. Fruit smoothies are also recommended right after a workout — they quench the thirst while providing a feeling fullness and plenty of vitamins and minerals.