In any form of physical activity, it’s vital to acknowledge that you go through different stages with varying energy requirements. Normally, the physical requirement for energy and water increases as the activity becomes more strenuous. As a result, the heart beats faster and breathing becomes deep and frequent in order to compensate with the increase in demand. It is important that in every stage, the transition is smooth and gradual.
In martial arts training, the period of transition occurs during warming up and cooling down. We are already well aware of the importance of warming up. It helps in setting the mood for training and prepares the body for an hour or two of physical activity. Warming up provides the body an opportunity to adjust to the sudden change of physical activity.
Unfortunately, cooling down is not given importance as much as it should be. To some, cooling down is another warm up done after training. Although these two activities may be similar, they are also very different from each other. The purpose of cooling down is different from warming up.
In order to give you a clearer picture of the importance of cooling down, I encourage you to read the following, quoted from an article on Fitday.com. It discusses the important role that a cool down can provide to an individual engaged in physical activity like martial arts training.
Every workout should include a cool down portion. This is especially important if you are engaging in strenuous forms of exercise that increase your heart rate and place heavy strain on your muscles.
A proper cool down is important for keeping you healthy. You don’t want to come to a sudden stop after running a marathon, cycling uphill or doing any other activity that has your heart pumping blood at high speeds. Skipping a cool down in these situations can sometimes lead to sudden dizziness. When you cool down properly, you help to resume normal breathing.
A cool down will also help to reduce muscle soreness after a workout. You do not want lactic acid and toxins to lodge themselves in the muscles. When you stop abruptly after a strenuous workout, the likelihood of this occurrence is greater. A cool down portion will help to gradually push the lactic acid and other unwanted substances out of the muscles. This often helps to reduce soreness after your workout.
In my personal experience, cooling down has helped me reduce the muscle aches I experience days after martial arts training. Through cooling down, my body is given the chance to revert back to a less active state; making my muscles relaxed and less tensed. In this manner, I don’t have to suffer from annoying muscle pains after my training.