Men Over 40 Need to Cool Down After Workouts. Try These Moves to End Yours the Right Way.

·3 min read

Milo Bryant is a performance coach as well as an experienced journalist. He’s also in his 50s—and his book Unstoppable After 40 gives you the roadmap to do more than merely remain active as you "mature." Milo trains hard and recovers even better so he can do what he wants, when he wants. Get ready to use his methods to become unstoppable. This isn’t your dad’s middle age.

Picture this: You just stepped off the gym floor after a solid strength training session. You're feeling good, but what's your first move? Heading straight to the showers? If you don't take a few minutes to cool down, you're selling all that hard work short—especially if you're over 40.

Guys, we lose muscle as we get older. Taking care of our bodies with training, then adding proper post-exercise cool downs can effectively help us maintain that muscle, and even grow more. A cool down gives the body a chance to leave the heart-pounding hyper-awareness state of thrusting heavy weight, sprinting, jumping, pushing and pulling and return to a homeostasis that allows us to carry on with the rest of our day productively. Great thing is that it doesn’t take a lot of time—maybe five to 10 minutes post-workout or physical activity, tops.

Here is a three-step cool down process that every man over 40 needs to do after a workout to ensure that he's still feeling good afterward—and to help maximize the benefits of your training.

How to Cool Down From a Tough Workout

First you need to do a short stretching routine. The human body does seven primary movements: It bends, extends, rotates right and left, stands on one foot then the other and it squats.

The Cool Down Movements

Do each of those for a 10- to 15-second hold. Do one or two sets of each.

●Flex Forward

Stand, arms hanging by your sides. Push your butt back and lower your torso, bending forward at the hips and touching your toes (or lowering as far as you can). Hold for 5 seconds. Return to the starting position.

●Extend Backward

Stand with your arms above your head. Bend as far backward as possible while keeping your feet planted. Return to the starting position.

●Rotate Left and Right

Stand with your feet together, toes pointing forward, arms hanging by your sides. Turn your body to the left as far as possible while keeping your toes facing forward. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

●Balance on Each Foot

Stand tall with both feet together. Lift your left leg until your knee forms a 90-degree angle and your thigh is parallel to the ground. Hold that position for 10 seconds, keeping your hips and shoulders square to the front. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

●Squat

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms held in front of you. Keeping your abs tight, push your butt back and bend your knees, allowing your torso to descend. Lower as far as you can. Return to the starting position.

Then immediately after the last stretch, you should start munching on a piece of fruit: kiwi, apple, plum, pear or grapefruit are great choices. Do this because you’ve just spent time tossing around weight and depleting your muscles’ energy stores. The fruit helps them bounce back. Finally, within the next 30 minutes to an hour, get in about 30 grams of good protein.

Follow these three steps and you’ll not only bolster today’s workout, but you’ll be ready to attack tomorrow’s workout as well!

Best Coach Cues for Cool Down Stretches

● Keep the legs as straight as possible when you bend over. You don’t have to touch your toes. Just go as far as possible with straight legs.

● Keep the feet flat on the ground during the rotation and during the single-leg stance.

● Don’t wait! Eat the fruit immediately after finishing the cool down.

Helpful Tip for a Better Cool Down Process

Try to eat real proteins. Don’t substitute a smoothie. There’s not a protein smoothie made that gives you better proteins than beef, chicken, salmon and eggs, or, for the vegetarians and vegans, quinoa, and amaranth.

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