Warm Up - Run - Cool Down - The Healthy Way to exercise!

Submitted by Kundun Yoga on August 17, 2012

Running is known to be one of the most effective exercises for the body that not only helps in strengthening the legs but also promotes cardiovascular health. However just as warm up exercises are essential prior to running or any form of exercise, exercises to cool down after running are also essential to arrive at a steady heart rate post exercising.


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Some of the various cool down exercises that can be practiced after running include stretches, light aerobic exercises as well as relaxation techniques.

During the cooling down process post running it is essential that the heart rate is lowered to the required levels and all the major muscles are sufficiently stretched. Special attention should be given to the ones that have been worked upon.

While stretching the muscles after running ensure that typically a stretch should last for eight seconds, however for muscles that feel sore the stretches and the repeats should be longer.

The concluding and key element of cool down exercises post running is to refuel. This is necessary as the body requires nourishment in the form of minerals, water and carbohydrates to fuel the various activities it is subjected to.

The types of cool down exercises after running include:

  • Aerobics: Light aerobic exercises are known to be effective in minimizing the chances of feeling light headed or dizzy. While Exercising the body tends to produce waste products such as lactic acid which are dissipated through light exercises such as aerobics. Walking is known to be one of the best cool down exercises after running as it helps in restoring the body to the functional levels it was at before taking up the running activity.
  • Stretching: Stretching is an essential component of cooling down post running or any major form of exercise as it helps in loosening and relaxing the leg muscles. Those who avoid stretching as part of the cool down exercises post running may experience soreness and cramps in their legs and may find it harder to run with sore and hard muscles the next time.
  • Mental cooling down and relaxation: During any heavy form of exercise, the flow of adrenaline increases which may result in the mind becoming overly alert and active. Taking up a form of relaxation as a cooling down exercise post running is known to help in calming the mind and bringing it to a more placid state. Mental relaxation can be achieved by simply sitting comfortably with your eyes shut and concentrating on your breathing.
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