Recovery Starts The Second Your Workout Ends

Regardless of your goals at the gym, it is important to understand that the favorable adaptation you are looking for isn’t happening while you work out. The magic happens in between workouts while you recover. 

This is why it is so essential that you properly transition from working out to recovery immediately after your training.

What does your cool-down process look like today, and is there anything you can do better?   

Let’s dive in!

Sympathetic Vs. Parasympathetic 🐅

When we train, our bodies go into a sympathetic state. This is your fight-or-flight reaction. Thrusters, kettlebell swings, heavy squats, and assault bike intervals are the present-day versions of being chased by a sabertooth tiger. 

When we train, inflammation markers go up, our blood pressure increases, cortisol is released, and your body goes into an elevated state of stress. This is why exercise, especially high-intensity exercise, is often referred to as a hormetic stressor. 

Hormetic stressors are healthy stressors that lead to positive adaptations and make us healthier and more resilient. 

But those positive adaptations can only happen when our bodies switch from being in a sympathetic state to a parasympathetic state. If we don’t transition into a state of rest and recovery promptly after our workouts, we won’t be able to recover as well, which means we won’t reap all the positive benefits from all the work we just put into our training. 

So the solution is to prioritize a proper cool down immediately after every workout.

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Dial In Your Cool-Down Routine

Dial in your cool-down routine with these four steps immediately after you are done working out. 

  1. 3 Minutes of nasal breathing. Catch your breath once your session is over, and as soon as you can, start breathing in and out of just your nose. Don’t take your phone and start scrolling. Don’t rush out of the gym and do this in your car. Spare the three extra minutes and just breathe. If you can, make the breaths longer and longer as you go.

  2. Legs Up. Find a spot on the wall to raise your legs as you continue to cool down. You can do this during your 3 minutes of nasal breathing. The goal is here to help your body return the blood that may have pooled in your biggest muscle (legs) and return it to your heart, lungs, and brain.

  3. Stretch. Sit into a “couch stretch” or follow your favorite static stretching routine after your workout. This is a great time to get some mobility work in as you further help your body down-regulate following more intense training. Want to feel better about your mobility?

  4. Fuel Up. You can’t recover if you aren’t fueling up appropriately. Sit down for a proper meal as soon as you can post-workout, and make sure you give your body the nutrients it needs to make the most of the work you just put in.


Open Spots for 1-on-1 Nutrition Coaching! 

One way to get the most out of your efforts when it comes to nutrition is to work with a coach that can help you come up with a plan and hold you accountable. 

If you want to work 1-on-1 with a Brigade Made nutrition coach, you can click the button and set up a FREE consult!