Cooling down

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Not to be confused with Cooldown.

Cooling down (the prescribed event of which is called a cool down, cooldown, or coold-down) is an easy exercise that will allow the body to gradually transition to a resting or near-resting state. Depending on the intensity of the exercise, cooling down can involve a slow jog or walk, or with lower intensities, stretching can be used. Cooling down allows the heart rate to return to its resting rate. Studies are currently inconclusive as to whether actually reduces delayed-onset muscle soreness[1] and muscle soreness is not caused by lactate production during intense exercise.[2] Anecdotally cooling down may reduce dizziness for professional or serious athletes and vocal performers after strenuous workouts.[3] Studies have shown a weak correlation between cooling down and less muscle delayed-onset muscle soreness, however the majority of recent studies discount this relationship.[4] One study has shown that some certain athletes who perform an extensive cool-down are less likely to become injured.[5]


Cool downs should involve a gradual yet continuous decrease in exercise intensity (i.e. from a hard run to an easy jog to a brisk walk), stretching, and rehydration. Durations can vary for different people, but 3–7 minutes is considered adequate.

Cardiovascular Issues, Health, and Heart rate[edit]

During aerobic exercise, peripheral veins, particularly those within muscle, dilate to accommodate the increased blood flow through exercising muscle. The skeletal-muscle pump assists in returning blood to the heart and maintaining cardiac output. A sudden cessation of strenuous exercise may cause blood to pool in peripheral dilated veins and the heart must beat faster and harder to adequately oxygenate the body and maintain blood pressure.[citation needed] A cool-down period allows a more gradual return to venous tone.

It is theorized that individuals predisposed to, suffering from, or at risk for cardiovascular disease may be at risk for potential negative cardiovascular outcomes if a cool down is not completed following exercise bouts due to a rapid decrease in blood reaching areas of the heart (with narrowed blood vessels due to present cardiovascular disease).[6] This, however, is only a theory, and clinical evidence for this is currently lacking.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Law RYW and Herbert RD(2007) Warm-up reduces delayed-onset muscle soreness but cool-down does not: a randomised controlled trial. The Australian Journal of Physiotherapy 53: 91–95.
  2. ^ Bale P, James H (1991) Massage, warmdown and rest as recuperative measures after short term intense exercise. Physiotherapy in Sport 13: 4–7.
  3. ^ [1] Journal of Human Kinetics. Volume 35, Issue 1, Pages 59–68, ISSN (Online) 1899-7562, ISSN (Print) 1640-5544, DOI: 10.2478/v10078-012-0079-4, January 2013
  4. ^ [2] DeFatta, Rima A., and Robert T. Sataloff. "The Value Of Vocal Warm-Up And Cool-Down.,vfs;';g' Exercises: Questions And Controversies." Journal Of Singing 69.2 (2012): 173-175. Education Source. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
  5. ^ [3] Malliou, Paraskevi, et al. "Reducing Risk Of Injury Due To Warm Up And Cool Down In Dance Aerobic Instructors." Journal Of Back & Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation 20.1 (2007): 29-35. Academic Search Premier. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
  6. ^ Kolata, Gina (13 October 2009). "Is the Exercise Cool-Down Really Necessary?". The New York Times (New York).