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Dear Cassey: Is it really important to cool down after a workout?
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August 18, 2021

Dear Cassey,

Sometimes I worry that I might sprain a muscle in my body when I do strenuous exercises. My question is…must I do a ‘cool down’ exercise to prevent injury in the near future or can I just stop right after your last video you give us to workout?

I don’t feel any soreness, nor pain, but I am genuinely worried!

Sincerely,

Your Fellow Popster

Hi Fellow Popster,

Yessss this is such an important question! The truth is… you need to warm up before a workout AND cool down after to really protect your body from injury. Actually, there are a lot of other reasons to warm up and cool down!

I know, it’s already hard enough to squeeze in the workout itself sometimes! Buuuuut it really is key to make room for both and the good news is you only need a few minutes for each!

Let’s talk about why it’s important to do both, shall we?!

Warming up

Before you workout, your muscles are kind of “cold.” Doing a quick warm-up wakes your muscles up so they’re ready to go when you get to work. It also helps them relax, which helps prevent injury.

Warming up makes your workout better too. Your range of motion increases, which helps you with form and performance. When these things improve, you get stronger. A quick warm-up brings more blood to the muscle too, which means it’s getting more oxygen and energy to keep you from fatiguing.

Finally, a quick warm-up gets you in the right mindset. I loooooove how I feel after a warm-up. If I jump right into an intense workout, I feel clumsy and stiff, and sometimes it feels like my motivation lags. But warming up feels good and gets me in the mindset to give my workout my all.

Tips For Your Warm-Up

Seriously, you only need 5 to 10 minutes!

Focus on dynamic movements. All that means is you keep moving, instead of holding a stretch. Think of hip circles, cat-cow, or lunges.

Give your attention to the areas of the body you’ll be working. For example – if you’re doing an arm workout, warm up the shoulders, back, wrists, etc. If you’re doing a full-body workout, bodyweight moves like air squats, bird dog, and modified plank all warm up the major muscle groups in the body.

Don’t be afraid to sneak some cardio into your warm-up! A walk, easy jog, or jumping jacks are great for waking up the muscles and getting the heart pumping.

Need warm-up inspo? Try this full body warm-up!

The Cool Down

You specifically asked about cooling down and my advice is to avoid skipping it if you can! Again, you only need a few minutes! But the longer the better. I could stretch for sooooo long. It’s amazing after a tough workout!

Cooling down is more about allowing your body to slowly recover from a workout. If your workout is intense, your heart rate probably gets pretty high. You’re also
warm (literally, your body temperature is a little higher). If you stop your workout suddenly, there’s a higher chance that you’ll feel dizzy or nauseated.

Ending your workout with something easy like a quick walk allows your body to slowly return to its normal, pre-workout state. It might even help you feel less sore the next day!

Including that stretch in your cool down increases your flexibility, which makes a huge difference in your workouts and just how you feel overall! If you’re feeling stiff, get that stretch in!

Hopefully, this helps! I know warming up and cooling down aren’t the most exciting parts of a workout, but they’re sooo important! Some other things you can do to prevent injury and keep your body feeling amazing: 

  • Ease into your workouts and take breaks when you need them.
  • Don’t forget rest days
  • Practice good form
  • Hydrate!

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, leave your questions below! I may answer it in an upcoming Dear Cassey post!

17 thoughts on “Dear Cassey: Is it really important to cool down after a workout?”

There are 17 comments posted by our users.

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  1. Gina says:

    Hey Cassey. Iève been working out with your videos for the last month and just love it! Great dynamic, lots of energy and enthusiasm. My question is, why are there little to no warm ups or cool downs included in them? I have to search the internet for some 5-10 minute videos to supplement your workout videos…a bit of a bummer.

  2. Thank you Cassey for answering my burning question! & yes I also had some questions for Warm-Ups as well, but you answered here too! Thank you Lots for worrying about us and helping us 🙂

  3. Arjun Roy says:

    open air execrise is best for our health and body in morning fresh air

  4. Arjun Roy says:

    home exerices is best

  5. Sonali says:

    Dear Cassey,
    When working out at home, do I need to be wearing shoes? I do all my exercises bare-foot, either on a yoga mat or the floor itself, but is this going to harm my body in any way or prevent me from getting the full benefits from any exercise? Particularly walking workouts, I feel wearing shoes changes the way I place my feet and might increase the power and energy I put into my workout. So…shoes or no shoes – any advice?
    Yours truly,
    Sonali.

    1. blogilates says:

      This is a GREAT q! Stay tuned for the answer!

  6. Still Popping says:

    Dear Cassey,

    I’m really glad I found your workouts online, this is the first time I managed to stay on track with “at home workouts” and I’m probably in the best shape ever – which is saying a lot after the endometriosis diagnosis and surgery last year. But even after months and months of training I still notice joint popping, especially in the hips. It doesn’t hurt, but it’s kind of annoying and distracting, sometimes perhaps slightly uncomfortable. Is there anything I can do about this, more stretching, specific workouts to tackle this?

    Sincerely,
    Still Popping

  7. Madhulika says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I’ve been on a fitness journey since past 1 year and have made really good progress. I’ve been consistent throughout and have been eating healthier day by day. My friends and family appreciate my self control but deep down I feel I might be suffering from orthorexia. I’ve had past incidents which made me feel that way. It’s affecting my mental health like nothing else. I would want to talk to someone who understands what I’m going through but here in India let alone eating disorders, people are not even aware of psychological disorders. Though my parents are highly supportive I want to seek a professional’s help before it’s too late. Could you please talk about orthorexia and give some advice.
    Truly,
    Your biggest admirer

  8. Sharon says:

    Hi Cassey!
    Lately I’ve noticed that my face breaks out A LOT and I was never the type of person to have pimple breakouts even through puberty. I’m starting to think it’s because I’ve committed to working out a lot harder over the past couple years where I’m literally dripping sweat after a workout as opposed to before when I wouldn’t work too hard to avoid sweating too much. Do you have any recommendations on how to care for our skin either pre-/or post-workout (or both)?

  9. Terra says:

    Dear Cassey,

    This feels like a silly question but I trust you with the answer more than anyone. Is it okay for me to just work out because I enjoy that type of workout, and because I know that it’s healthy to move my body? Is it okay not to want to change my body or only work out in a certain way that will “work” to reach a purely aesthetic goal? In the fitness space online all I see are people explaining why everyone’s not seeing results, or what style of training is the only effective method. All I want is to take care of myself, not force myself to look a certain way. But the advice all seems to turn into a how-to guide for how to look as lean and toned as possible.

    Sincerely,
    Life over looks

    1. blogilates says:

      Thank you for this q!!! Stay tuned <3

  10. Mummy Yummy (domed abs hurt lol) says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I love your workouts, and since having committed to PopPilates 6 days a week, for 2 full years now, I’ve already seen some awesome results in my muscle tone, focus, and my endurance! My question to you is; as a certified pilates instructor, are there any generalized tips or tricks that can be done with or without endurance bands to assist specifically with the abdominal condition called Diastasis Recti? Alot of your basic pilates movements in your videos have already improved my core strength, reduced my lower back pain, and significantly reduced the effects of my Piriformis Syndrome, but there are certain ab moves I still find a bit tricky, and a few others that some online physiotherapy sources claim that perhaps should not be done if one has Diastasis Recti. I was hoping that, what with your 600+ (way mega plus lol) hours of teaching over the last 10 years, have you seen many women in your classes with Diastasis Recti? Were there any specific adjustments to form you would help them to make, or any particular moves you would recommend them? If so, would you perhaps consider making a video or IG post specifically targeting viewers like me? 🤞😗🤞

    Thank you so much for all that you do!
    Much love and admiration,
    MummyTummy

  11. Busy Bee says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I’ve really tried to incorporate regular workouts into my life in the last few months, but I don’t usually have time for a long workout. Instead, I like to do several shorter ones throughout the day. My question is… Does working out in bursts throughout the day have the same impact as one long session? I’m worried that, despite my efforts, it just won’t take me as far as I want it to.
    Sincerely,
    Busy Bee

  12. Christine Arbuckle says:

    Hi Casey I would like to know more about stretching ( I do one of your videos of stretching I would like to stretch more, I can deal with the pain but I’m afraid to… damage my muscle… or nerves. I don’t what can happen I I stretch to much. 👋

    1. blogilates says:

      Ooooh stay tuned for an article on this!!!

  13. ConfusedAboutBulkingUp says:

    Hey Cassey! Lately, I’ve been worried about bulking up instead of getting slim and toner. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having muscle and looking bulky, it’s just not a personal goal of mine.

    My diet is pretty healthy and is only getting healthier. When I workout, I usually follow your calendar workouts.

    I don’t typically lift weights but will throw them into a workout if it’s required.

    So why does it look like I’m bulking up? Should I ditch squats? Do more cardio?

    That you in advance!

    1. Good question too! Hm Cassey? *ponders*

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