Three reasons to stay for a cooldown:
Cool-downs include lower-intensity movement, as well as a mix of dynamic and static stretching. Group fitness instructors have a goal to guide participants’ bodies back to a steady state, and provide physical and mental closure to the class experience. Unfortunately, many fitness class attendees dismiss the cool-down as a waste of time. As the music slows down, they scamper out the door or begin to pack up. While it might seem like a good idea to cut out before the cool-down to save time and get to your next commitment, here are three reasons why those last few minutes of class are some of the important:
1. It makes you feel better: A gradual cool-down helps the body return to homeostasis at a steady rate, and decreases the risk of feeling ill. In fact, a good cool-down will actually leave your body feeling relaxed and refreshed.
2. It enhances your flexibility:
A mix of dynamic (moving) and static (hold for 15-30 seconds) stretches can enhance flexibility, which can improve quality of movement—both during exercise and the activities you do as a part of everyday life. It is worth noting that stretching after a workout does not specifically prevent soreness. Nevertheless, stretching does feel really feel good after a tough fitness session and may assist with injury prevention. Stretches for major muscle groups are encouraged to enhance flexibility and aid in posture-related fatigue or stress.
3. It gives you time to celebrate and reflect:
The end of a workout is the perfect time to reflect on the mental and emotional benefits of exercise. It’s your time to recognize the time and effort it took to come to class and participate in a challenging workout. Reflection on personal accomplishments can go a long way in generating self-confidence and creating intrinsic motivation for future workouts. The cool-down is also a good time to take stock in how you feel.