Cooling Down: An Old Wive's Tale?

Oct 14, 2009
Outside Magazine

Over at the New York Times's Health section, one writer ponders why so many sources insist that cooling down is important after exercising, and finds very little evidence in support of it. Hirofumi Tanaka, an exercise physiologist at the University of Texas, Austin, says that the act of cooling down isn't really studied, because most people assumed it has already been proven beneficial. The actual act of 'cooling down' varies, as do the supposed benefits of it -- from easing muscle soreness to relieving stress on the heart -- but one thing is agreed upon: if you suddenly stop after exercising, it's possible that when your heart slows, blood could pool in your legs and feet, making you dizzy. The thing is, though, that it's really only top athletes and those with heart disease who are affected by this, says Dr. Paul Thompson, who is a cardiologist and marathon runner. The average Joe? Not so much.

-- Lisa Lombardi

Filed To: Fitness

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