Cooling down after training—gradually bringing down the heart rate and “de-stressing” the body—is as important as warming up and working out.

Taking a one-hour dance class jump starts your sympathetic nervous or your “fight or flight” system. Your heart rate quickens and blood is shunted to your loaded muscles. But your body shouldn’t stay in that mode for extended periods of time. It needs a chance to re-engage its parasympathetic nervous system, where you calm down, relax and dilate the blood vessels needed for proper and efficient repair and growth. Maintaining high levels of stress can cause injury to joints and muscles, as well as damage the heart. This is why it’s so important to add a post-workout cool down to your routine. Your cool down (a slow jog, yoga, stationary bike, static stretching) depends upon your workout, training level intensity and tolerance.

Take the time to learn the proper cool down for you. Your body will thank you and your performance may improve. http://ow.ly/i/4qVIU