3 Simple Steps to End your Jogging the Right Way

2020/07/13 Home Education and advice

3 Simple Steps to End your Jogging the Right Way

In spite of being often forgotten, including a cool-down after a moderate to high-intensity workout is very important. A cool-down consists of a series of low intensity exercises lasting about 5 to 10 minutes, and aims to facilitate the transition between a workout and rest.

Here are 3 important tips to achieve a proper cool-down after a run:

1.End your run with a slower run

It is recommended to dedicate the first 5 minutes of the cool-down to simply lowering the intensity of the activity at hand. Therefore, a running workout should be followed by 5 minutes of slow jogging or walking. This step allows the body to gradually return to a resting state by lowering the heart rate and body temperature.

2.Stretching

Stretching is key to a proper cool-down. Flexibility is essential to muscle health, just like strength and power. Not everyone needs the same flexibility to participate in their sport; however, a minimum of flexibility is important to be able to do everyday activities without risking injury during the slightest wrong movement. For runners, it is equally as interesting to maintain flexibility in order to avoid a modified running technique due to muscle or joint stiffness.

There are many different types of stretches (e.g. active, static, ballistic), and the scientific literature shows that all types of stretches are beneficial to improve muscle flexibility. In fact, research demonstrates that the benefits of stretching are the same whether stretches are performed right after a running workout or later on in the day. However, passive stretching before running should be avoided. 

Certain muscle groups should be targeted by runners for stretching exercises. Here are the main ones: iliopsoas, hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and hip adductors. As for calf muscles, research demonstrates that they should not be regularly stretched unless specifically prescribed by your healthcare professional. With these key muscles in mind, feel free to choose the stretches that feel the best for you, or consult our video to give you a starting point.

**Important**

  • Stretches should NEVER be painful. It is normal to feel a slight discomfort, but nothing more.
  • Make sure to be mindful of your breathing during the stretching. Inhale to lengthen the muscle at hand, and exhale to go a little deeper into the stretch.
  • To ensure long term flexibility, stretching should be done quite often (at least 3-4x per week)
  • In general, it is suggested to maintain stretching positions at least 2x 30 seconds each to maximise the muscle flexibility benefits.

3.Hydration

It is crucial to properly hydrate after doing physical activity. Ideally, you should aim to take a few sips of water during your run, especially if it lasts more than 20 minutes. During your cool-down, dieticians suggest to drink 500-750ml of water per pound of sweat lost in order to prevent the consequences of dehydration such as muscle cramping, headaches, and dizziness. 

In sum, your cool-down session should consist of:

  • 5 minutes of slow jogging or walking
  • 5 minutes of lower body stretching
  • A large glass of water

Happy running!

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