The Cool Down - Recover Faster & Avoid Injury!Written by Brad Walker
Many people dismiss cool down as a waste of time, or simply unimportant. In reality cool down is just as important as warm up, and if you want to stay injury free, it's vital.
Although warm up and cool down are just as important as each other, they are important for different reasons. While main purpose of warming up is to prepare body and mind for strenuous activity, cooling down plays a different role.
Why Cool Down?
The main aim of cool down is to promote recovery and return body to a pre exercise, or pre-workout level. During a strenuous workout your body goes through a number of stressful processes, muscle fibers, tendons and ligaments get damaged, and waste products build up within your body. The cool down, performed properly, will assist your body in its repair process.
One area cool down will help with is "post exercise muscle soreness." This is soreness that is usually experienced day after a tough workout. Most people experience this after having a lay-off from exercise, or at beginning of their sports season. I remember running a half marathon with limited preparation, and finding it difficult to walk down steps next day because my quadriceps were so sore.
Post exercise muscle soreness is caused by a number of things. Firstly, during exercise, tiny tears called micro tears develop within muscle fibers. These micro tears cause swelling of muscle tissues which in turn puts pressure on nerve endings and results in pain.
Secondly, when exercising, your heart is pumping large amount of blood to working muscles. This blood is carrying both oxygen and nutrients that working muscles need. When blood reaches muscles oxygen and nutrients are used up. Then force of contracting (exercising) muscles pushes blood back to heart where it is re-oxygenated.
However, when exercise stops, so does force that pushes blood back to heart. This blood, as well as waste products like lactic acid, stays in muscles, which in turn causes swelling and pain. This process is often referred to as "blood pooling."
So, cool down helps all this by keeping blood circulating, which in turn helps to prevent blood pooling and also removes waste products from muscles. This circulating blood also brings with it oxygen and nutrients needed by muscles, tendons and ligaments for repair.
The Key Parts of an Effective Cool Down
Now that we know what cool down does and why it is so important, let’s have a look at structure of an effective cool down. There are three key elements, or parts, which should be included to ensure an effective and complete cool down. They are;
How To Cut Down On College StressWritten by Trevor Dumbleton
Copyright 2005 Trevor Dumbleton
Probably least appreciated form of stress is college stress. This is mostly due to fact that adults simply see a lot of college students sitting on their rear ends playing video games and drinking, instead of seeing students who are under pressure to succeed all time. In addition to classes, homework, research, reading, paper writing and problem solving, there are now problems of how heck to pay for college and whether there will be any jobs waiting after graduation. Thus, with all these forms of college stress weighing students down, it is no wonder that things tend to get ugly when they “blow off steam”.
Of course, there are better ways to deal with stress than to drink an entire case of beer in one day. In fact, abusing your body with any number of chemicals does not really help that much, aside from fact that people generally relax when they do such things. However, they are usually relaxed before partaking of latest work of ancient and modern chemistry, so substances themselves really do not make much of a difference.
Unfortunately, college stress is often first encounter that some students have with persistent stress, and it is hard for them to deal with it. However, it is also first time that many of them have had experience with almost complete freedom, so college has a double threat. Complete freedom means ability to simply ignore cause of stress, which is usually classes they need to stay in college. Thus, problem of freshmen retention in many universities.
Unfortunately, most students don’t even attempt to find help for their stress problems. In fact, most common effort to help students through their stress is to tell them to either just get their work done or to get used to it. Of course, this advice usually comes from their friends and, though there is a certain set that could use this advice, many other students are struggling to keep up simply because they are unable to cope with their stress. Thus, by relieving their own minds of their concerns, they could help their grades and help keep themselves in school.
The best place to start looking for relief from college stress is by talking to an advisor. They are more than happy to help students because they want to help them and, for most part, nobody ever visits them. Thus, they are very eager to help, but very lonely, so they will be more than happy to give a hand to anyone who needs it. If you are a student under stress, they can help you deal with classroom concerns and direct you to people who can help alleviate your stress concerns. It doesn’t matter how personal problems might be, advisors are very private, very discreet, and they are more than happy to provide you with assistance.