Post Workout Cool Down Not Necessary, Study Says
Next time you don’t feel like cooling down, don’t worry about it.
It is thought that a proper cool down after physical activity would prevent muscle soreness, improve limberness and speed physiological recovery, allowing the body to better physically handle the next day. But according to a new study, it isn’t necessary.
In the study, a group of 36 active adults undertook a strenuous, one-time program of forward lunges while holding weights, an exercise almost guaranteed to make untrained people very sore the next day.
Some subjects warmed up before the workout on a stationed bike at a gentle pace for 20 minutes, others didn’t warm up but did cool down with the same 20 minute cycling, and the rest just lunged with no warm up or cool down.
The results showed those who warmed up and didn’t cool down were relatively pain-free and those who cooled down did experience muscle soreness. They found the exercisers who transitioned into a less intensified physical activity after a workout did not experience any kind of pain relief.
In an interview with the New York Times, Dr. Rob Herbert, senior research fellow at Neuroscience Research Australia and senior author of a foundation study of cooling down, said available data “quite strongly suggests a cool-down does not reduce post-exercise soreness.”
“My feeling is that” unless future science shows otherwise, “people shouldn’t worry about it,” Herbert said. “If they like to cool down, then it’s not going to hurt them. But if they don’t feel like it, then they shouldn’t feel a need to do it.”
Photo Credit: Cathe.com