Cool, Calm, Corrected
Do this simple cool-down routine to stay in top shape
If you come to a screeching halt after running hard, waste products and even your body’s own healing nutrients and chemicals can pool in your legs, creating inflammation that harms rather than heals. To avoid that, running coach Robyn Lalonde developed this cool-down routine. It reduces swelling, calms your nervous system and sends blood to carry nutrients to – and toxins from – fatigued muscles and joints. If more than 30 minutes have passed since your run, start with five to 10 minutes of brisk walking to bring your heart rate back up and reopen constricted vessels.
Stand with your hands on your hips. Engage your core slightly, gently flex your right foot, and swing your right leg front to back. Keep your upper body still and your eyes forward. Do 25 swings on each leg.
Stand facing the back of a chair, with your hands on top. Step back to extend your arms and extend your spine. With your head relaxed and legs straight, lower your spine until your torso is parallel to the floor. Hold for one minute, breathing slowly: inhale for three secs through your nose; exhale for three through your mouth.
Kneel on the floor, tops of your feet down and knees hip-width or wider – the further apart, the deeper the hip stretch. Stretch your arms straight out in front of you, palms down, and place your forehead on the floor (or as low as you can go). Hold for one to two minutes.
LEGS UP THE WALL
Lie with your bum against a wall, legs perpendicular to the floor. Keep the back of each leg in contact with the wall; if your hamstrings feel tight, bend your knees a little. Open your arms to the sides, palms up, and hold for five to 15 mins. For an added hip/groin stretch, bend your knees out and bring the soles of your feet together.
If you don’t have an exercise ball, mimic the same motion with scissor kicks.