Cool, Calm, Cor­rected

Do this sim­ple cool-down rou­tine to stay in top shape

Runner's World (UK) - - Contents -

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.


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.

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