You’ve just completed your session, you most likely to 1 of 3 things! You either lay on the floor for 10 minutes feeling sorry for yourself before heading for a shower and done. You may lay around and complete some passive stretching before heading off. Finally, you may be the active cool down guy with a number of lightly dynamic movements you use every day without fail. So, which one is best? Do you need to cool down after exercise?


Positive effects of a cool down

stretching cool downThe following factors are based on research that has strong supporting evidence. Yes, there may a few outliers that show no or negative effects, however I am going with the majority of data.

  • Blood Lactate – You know that “feeling of lactic acid” (Lactate isn’t all bad! – read here) research has shown the levels within your blood can be decreased with an active or passive cool down.
  • Immune System – 2 research papers found a cool down can positively effect your immune system. However, 2 studies also showed no significant changes!


Other factors you may think change

Again, these are all based off current research. An active or passive cool down have both been found to have no significant effect the following.

  • Same and next day performance – That’s right it seems it has no benefit for your next session!
  • Delayed onset of muscle soreness
  • Stiffness and range of motion
  • Injury prevention
  • Mood and sleep


It’s still going to be individual

As with everything in the world of health, fitness, strength and conditioning, effects can differ between every individual. Whilst the main body of research suggests minimal benefit, it may still work for YOU. If 5-10 minutes at the end of your sessions helps you into a state of relaxation, you’ve made the first steps to recovering effectively. When Personal Training in Bushy Park, Richmond, A lot of clients like the full circle of a session. 5 minutes at the end to relax and finish the session may be the secret to leaving every workout feeling satisfied.

You’re going to have to give it a go and see what works for you.