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As everyone knows — as least everyone as allergic to exercise as us — the best part of working out is that point when you have achieved the weight, distance, whatever-goal-you-made and you get to relax and feel proud about yourself. Once you’ve passed that peak, though, the workout isn’t over yet. A lot of people forget one of the most vital parts of working out, the cool-down portion, where you slowly get your body back to a normal heart-beat and throb instead of simply ratcheting everything back down to 0. Plus, it’s the more fun and easiest part of the workout!
Get a massage
Some studies fail to support claims that massages after strenuous workouts can speed muscle recovery but others find that massages can speed up recovery by up to 50 percent, and reduce swelling and muscle damage. And both of our experts are pro massage. “Massages are great to break up knots and or adhesions. Anything you can do to make sure your muscles are still aligned is a good thing,” says Burke. If you can’t afford a full-out massage, get a foam roller, put it on the floor and use your body weight to roll it along your back and neck. “Even if there are no physical benefits, I think there’s at least psychological and emotional benefit,” says Comana. Just make sure the pressure isn’t too deep or heavy—as it could damage the already vulnerable muscles.
What a better way to reward yourself then with a nice massage. Head on over to the above link in order to check out some other options for cooling down, and then get on out there and EARN your cool down!