8 Refreshing Tips to Cool Down After a Summer Workout

8 Refreshing Tips to Cool Down After a Summer Workout

Whether you’re going outside for a run or taking a midday class on your FRAME Reformer, a challenging workout seems even more challenging when you’re up against extreme summer heat. And that’s exactly why the cool down that you should do all year round becomes even more critical during summer months.

When it’s sweltering outside, you have to focus on taking care of yourself — even when the only thing you may feel like doing post-workout is dunking your head in ice. Taking the time to run through a full cool down, with stretching, hydration, and literally cooling your body temperature down, can make the difference between recovering quickly or setting yourself up for injury or exhaustion later. 

So before you start your next summer workout, here are eight refreshing ways you can cool down, stretch your muscles, and make sure your body is set up to recover properly — because we know you have fun summer plans waiting as soon as you wrap up that workout!

Stretch Immediately

You may be tempted to collapse onto the couch after a particularly hard workout, but avoid going straight into relaxation mode without stretching out your muscles first. Take a minute or a few to walk around, allowing your heart rate to gradually come down. Then launch into targeted static stretches on the muscles you just worked. Stretching your hamstrings, glutes, calves, and arms is always a good place to start.

Quench Your Thirst With Cold, Not Icy Water

Fill your water bottle with water right from the fridge, but don’t add ice to it. “Drink cool but not ice cold water. Avoid the temptation to combat one extreme with another — this can be a little shocking to our bodies, and we’re trying to avoid the whole “shock” thing,” says Huffington Post. The goal is to hydrate without going to extremes, and this goes for both during your workout and after.

Foam Roll Sore Muscles

If you’ve completed a particularly challenging workout, like a targeted leg series, you’re probably anticipating that you’re going to feel it later. Foam rolling as part of your cool down will help you work those muscles and release the tension. Incorporate this into your stretching routine and use the foam roller specifically on the areas that are sore by rolling for 30 seconds. 

Take a Cold Shower

If the idea of taking a cold shower feels impossible to you, try this: Start with a lukewarm shower and then slowly make the temperature cooler and cooler until you feel like you’ve reached the maximum amount of coldness you can handle. The colder water will feel like less of a shock to your system and you’ll still get the cool down effect. 

You can also keep a spray bottle of water in the refrigerator to spritz yourself as soon as you wrap up your workout or come inside. 

You could get the same effect with a wet towel (try a drop or two of essential oil on it for even more refreshment!) or by ice rolling. Advnture suggests focusing on cooling pulse points, which will then cool down your whole body.

Try Watermelon as a Cool Down Snack

Rehydrating is key to your cooldown, particularly when it’s hot out. Water is a must, but you can also try fruit that is filled with water, like watermelon. You’ll not only get the hydration benefits as you replenish fluids, but you’ll also get an extra boost from Vitamin A, Vitamin B5, Vitamin C, and other minerals like potassium. Think of snacking on watermelon as nature’s answer to a sports drink.

Soak in an Epsom Salt Bath

Once your body temperature has come down, you can take an Epsom salt bath to help relieve any lingering sore muscles. The magnesium and sulfate in the Epsom salt bath relaxes your muscles, which can combat soreness, as well as aid in healing as your body recovers post-workout.

Get a Massage

Want to treat yourself during your cool down? Go get a massage! It’s the ultimate way to stretch and work your muscles post-workout. If you get a massage at a spa that has a pool, even better. You can take a dip in the cool water after your massage for another level of summer refreshment and relaxation.

Drinking a Replenishing Smoothie

After a workout, in addition to hydration, you need to replenish vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. A smoothie packed with nutrients is a great way to do that. If you’re trying to build muscle, opt for a smoothie packed with protein like peanut butter, greek yogurt, or protein powder. Then add vitamin and mineral-rich ingredients like orange juice, spinach, bananas, ginger, strawberries, blueberries, or chia seeds.

Do you have a cool down practice that keeps you feeling refreshed in the summer? Do you have a hack for working out in the heat? Let us know in the comments!
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