You did it. You just killed your workout and you’re dying of heat and you’re all gross from sweating so much. You need to cool down ASAP! You’re excited to crank up your air conditioning so that you’re basically in your very own walk-in refrigerator.
STOP! Before you touch that dial, your body actually needs you to stay warm!
Your workout was intense! You’re were running, lifting things, raising your heartbeat and your body temperature. Your body is suddenly hotter than the air around you and so you’re sweating up a storm. The natural reaction is to get to somewhere cool to stop feeling overheated. But when the atmosphere around you is cooler than you are and you don’t realize it because you’re so warmed up, you’re susceptible to getting sick by catching a cold or picking up a virus.
If you cool off too fast, your muscles get cold quickly, leading to injury. Keeping warm will also help disperse that lactic acid that accumulates in your muscles. This way, you’ll avoid sprains and cramps after working out!
The best way to not feel so warm and feel better after your workout is to incorporate a series of cool-down exercises. This will help your heart rate to return to normal resting rate more gradually, prevent you from feeling dizzy spells that come from your blood pooling in your legs, and keeps your muscles warm.
DON’T REACH FOR THE SUPER COLD DRINK
Drinking something cold right away does the opposite of you think it should do. While you’re exercising, your internal body heat moves to the surface, while your inner temperature actually decreases. Cold drinks will cause your blood vessels to tighten, restricting your blood flow, and as a result, retaining your body heat – in other words, you’ll feel warmer, not cooler. On the other hand, if you drink a hot drink, that will help you cool down quicker. The sensors in your mouth, throat, and digestive tract send signals to your brain to produce more sweat, where the perspiration increase is what will help you feel cooler. Believe it or not, but societies in hot climates have done this for centuries!