Get Down With the Cooldown

Cooldowns with Pittsburgh Fitness Project. There are numerous ways you can begin recovering after a workout - no matter your preference, it's time to get down with your cooldown!

If you’ve taken our Power Hour classes, then you’re no stranger to doing cooldowns after your workout session. But when you work out on your own, do you keep your cooldown in your workout, or tend to skip it? It’s been argued the cooldown is one of the most important parts of working out. That’s because cooling down signifies to your body that the work is over and it’s time to start resting and recovering. There are a number of different ways you can begin recovering after a workout. No matter your preference, it’s time you start to get down with your cooldown! 

Active Vs Passive Cooldowns

Cooldowns can consist of two parts: active and/or passive. Active cooldowns involve low-intensity cardio-based movements. Examples of active cooldowns are walking, biking, rowing, and swimming. Active cooldowns can also include low-intensity resistance-based exercises like lunges or dynamic stretching.

Passive cooldowns on the other hand require minimal to no physical effort. They include things like static stretching, foam rolling, and even just active breathing. More advanced cooldowns can include innovative technology like infrared saunas, cryotherapy, compression garments, or massage.

Why do we do them? 

There are a number of speculated benefits to doing active cooldowns (unfortunately, we have little definitive research on said benefits):

  • Faster removal of metabolic by-products from exercise in muscle like lactate
  • Faster recovery of the cardio-respiratory system in breathing and heart rate
  • Reduced immune system depression time
  • Reduce symptoms of delayed-onset muscle soreness.

While it may be difficult to recommend one specific option for any given person, there are some general guidelines that a good cooldown routine should have;

  1. Low to moderate intensity and impact activities that promote blood flow without inducing further fatigue
  2. Short duration as to not interfere with energy system replenishment
  3. Making it something YOU prefer and enjoy.

There is some evidence that suggesting the positive impacts of cooldowns are most effective when both active and passive modalities are combined. 

Be on the lookout for some of these cooldown methods to come to the PFP Recovery Lounge! 😉

To read more about warm ups & cooldowns, check out this article.

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