by Chris Flury, MASTERSCARE.COM Founder

An observation I have made over the past few years is how little people tend to work on “warm” or “cool” down immediately after working out. As Masters, this is turning out to be one of the most crucial times of our workout, being that the proper warm-down will enhance the recovery time and process for our bodies. Too many people get in a hurry to get their workout in and spend little if any time warming down. When this occurs the body’s lactic acid and neurological system can wreak havoc. The result usually ends up being a lower recovery rate leading to a reduced performance during the next workout.

I recommend at least a 10-20 minute “flush” of the system that was being used for the workout followed by rolling and stretching later in the day or evening. The time of warm-down should be used to reduce the heart rate, flush the area of lactic acid buildup and allow our neurological system to calm down. Our bodies will respond feeling more fresh and pliable. This will help eliminate that feeling of tight and stiff we feel if we finish a workout and just sit down for a period of time. This is also a great time to get some more fluids in us, specifically proper water (“proper water” constitutes alkalized and ionized). This will also assist in the flushing process and set our bodies up for a faster recovery.

A warm/cool-down can consist of sitting on a bike, rowing, walking or jogging. It can also include body movements with or without very light weights or bands for resistance. These movements will be specific to the areas targeted for the workout and the surrounding areas.

In coming articles, we will dive into some of the specific movements that have proven beneficial to set up our bodies for a more complete and productive recovery.