This article originally appeared on Evolve-MMA.
Just because you have finished your last round on the mitts or you have finished your last routine, it doesn’t mean your training is over. In fact, what you do after an intense martial artsclass or workout is almost as important as the training itself.
One of the most important things you learn before beginning a martial arts program is how to warm up. Equally, it is as important to know how to cool down.
After an intense martial arts class in the gym, your body becomes tired. What happens immediately after strenuous physical exercise is essential to the body’s overall recovery. After exercise, muscle tissue begins its reparative cycle as we begin to build strength.
It’s easy to just stop moving completely after a rigorous martial arts class. After all, you have pushed yourself very hard and you deserve a break. However, it’s extremely important that you put some effort into cooling down. Your body will thank you later for it.
Today, Evolve Daily shares The 4 Best Ways To Cool Down After Martial Arts.
1) Make sure to get a good stretch in
Stretching is one of the classic cooldowns for any exercise program. Focusing on improving your flexibility after a hard martial arts class is the perfect slow-paced post-workout activity you can try.
Our bodies accumulate waste products during a rigorous workout, such as lactic acid build-up in our joints. Allowing our muscles to relax and release tension by performing stretches ensures that we get blood and oxygen flowing properly throughout our bodies.
Stretching not only improves our flexibility, which in turn enhances our martial arts performance, it also reduces the advent of muscle spasms and cramping which is common after intense physical exercise.
Make sure to get a good stretch in. It will calm your body and soothe your muscles while bringing your body temperature down closer to normal.
2) Take a short walk
Oftentimes when we participate in an intense workout session such as a martial arts class, we knowingly push ourselves to the limit. This causes our heart rate to rise above normal levels as we test our body’s physical capacity.
It is important then, that after our workout we focus on proper cool down. One of the best and most relaxing ways to cool down while still putting in some light physical effort is by taking a short walk. 5-10 minutes will do.
If there is no treadmill available, step outside the gym and take a brief walk throughout the city. Maybe you can shuffle on over to the nearest park and take in some fresh air. Walking allows the blood to circulate throughout the entire body, feeding healthy amounts of oxygen back into our muscles. It also helps reduce muscle soreness and stiffness.
A short walk is all that is needed to ensure your body cools down properly, getting you ready to carry on with the rest of your day.
3) Drink plenty of water. Never forget to hydrate!
Everyone who has ever trained in martial arts knows that it can really work up quite a sweat. During a martial arts class, every move you make expends water from the body.
After a really tough martial arts class, it is important to keep yourself hydrated to make sure your muscles are getting enough oxygen. We all know the majority of our bodies are made up of water, so it is important to make sure we replenish what we lose during training.
How much water do we need to drink after a workout? To find out, weigh yourself a couple of times before a martial arts session. When you’re done training, weigh yourself again.
The difference is what you lost in water weight. Try your best to drink it all back in liquids, plus an additional 25 to 50 percent to make up for what you’ll lose in urine.
Remember, staying hydrated during and after a workout is crucial to making sure your body functions properly with all the effort you are putting into keeping fit.
4) Try a quick yoga session
Cooling down means continuing to exercise but at a slower pace until your body gradually moves from being in a state of intense physical exertion to a complete state of rest. When speaking of a workout that is less strenuous and places a great deal of focus on proper breathing techniques, nothing beats a good yoga session.
Yoga has many benefits to the human body, and many people should begin to practice it. In fact, it is one of the few perfect accompanying workouts to a martial arts program.
Yoga helps to increase flexibility, increase muscle strength and tone, improve respiration, boost energy and vitality, and improve cardiovascular health.
Strike a few yoga poses after an intense martial arts class. Meditate and focus on unifying your mind and body.
Most importantly, make sure you cool down after every workout. Rest and recovery are just as important as the workout itself. Take care of your mind and body each day and we will all get to live happier, healthier lives!