The coaches at 330 do a pretty good job of telling classes to “cool down” or “ride the bike for 5 minutes” post-wod, before leaving the gym. It’s something that is really good for your body and overall recovery but hard for us all to implement.
Here are a few benefits to cooling down to help convince you to give it a try:
It helps to gradually reduce your heart rate and bring your body temperature down so that you don’t experience dizziness or heat illness.
Prevents pooling of blood in your muscles, which leads to lactic acid build-up and soreness. While you may not totally be able to combat next day (or two day) soreness, actively moving your body post-wod will help at least get rid of some of that gunk that will lodge itself inside your muscles. Even if you feel totally fine after a workout, we all know that “totally fine” feeling will not last forever. Prevent the stiff limbs!
You have a better chance of increasing your flexibility (which if you recall, helps with your weight lifting and movement patterns) when your muscles are pliable. Your muscles are most pliable when they are warmed up. What better way to make yourself a little more bendy than by getting a stretch on after your workout.
You want to get your muscle length and tension back to its normal resting state post-wod. They tend to get bunched up (think about how your arms look/feel after doing a high amount of push-ups), and left in that state will cause your muscles to actually shorten overtime.
If you find yourself with even 5 minutes of extra time at the end of a class, I would highly recommend you do some sort of biking, rowing, stretching, etc before heading out. Focus on areas/muscles that you just used in your workout. If you are prone to getting sucked into conversation with your friends and 15 minutes later realize you really have to leave right away, maybe next time take that conversation to the corner and mobilize while chatting.