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  1. #1
    Training in Decatur, GA JohnZ's Avatar
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    How important is it to "cool down"?

    What is the point of slowing down for a "cool down" phase near the end of a work-out?

  2. #2
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    ever stop abruptly during hard exercise? the quick change in bloodflow will likely make you light headed and queazy.

  3. #3
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    I've done it both ways to little difference in effect.

    It's worth noting that the admonition to stretch before any exercise is apparently losing steam lately. At least I've seen some writing which suggests it's OK to skip the stretching. I stopped last year and replaced it with a more gradual warm-up. Again, no ill effect. In fact, my memory tells me that all those years of "stretching" at various levels of intensity and duration may have actually wasted a good deal of exercise time and caused discomfort rather than alleviated or prevented it.

    I ain't saying it's so since I'm not an exercise physiologist. And I crtainly don't intend that my opinion in any way influences your behavior. But I'll not be surprised if stretching and cool down end up off the list. Neither will I be surprised when it gets put back on the list again
    Just Peddlin' Around

  4. #4
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    Why cool down? A very important reason is because a lot of the blood is shunted to the working muscles during the workout. If you suddenly stop or don't give yourself enough time to bring down the heart rate and allow the blood to return to the rest of the body (including the brain), you could end up with a lack of bloodflow to the brain, which causes that lightheadedness, and that causes you to black out.

    It only takes a few minutes (unless you're out of shape). What do you have to lose?

    Koffee

  5. #5
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    i just remember doing one race where i really needed to cool down, but didn't. i was right at my max HR coming across the line, and i pretty much coasted to the grass and layed down. my muscles started to cramp up, and i felt pretty sick and dizzy. so, a lot of it depends on how intense you're going and how abrupty you stop.

  6. #6
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Also, for me at least, if I have been really maxing out, if I fail to cool down, my heart rate actually increases - I guess it may be a bit like Koffee described - the heart is trying to get enough blood to the brain, and works even harder.

    I think that it really makes much difference only when you are really maxing out.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member plin's Avatar
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    It takes only a minute for my HR to go from 170 to less than 100 with very easy spinning. So there is not much need for cool down. As for strectching, it's not good to stretch right after exercise since it tends to create furthur micro-tears on the muscles. Amplitude stretching should only be done on days when you are actually NOT riding.

  8. #8
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    If I don't cool down for about 10 minutes and stretch after, my muscles feel like they are filled with wet cement . . . very heavy, achy, and often sore. When I cool down and stretch, I can focus on the happy endorphins. This took me years to realize.

    Sandy

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    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    It takes only a minute for my HR to go from 170 to less than 100 with very easy spinning
    WOW. That is REALLY impressive.

    Wish my heart would recover that quickly.

    Congrats to your heart!
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  10. #10
    Senior Member plin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    WOW. That is REALLY impressive.
    Wish my heart would recover that quickly.

    Thanks, you know it helps that I am 28 and ride a lot. It's not that impressive actually, a lot of guys I ride with do better than me.

    Recovery time is actually one of the easiest measurable parameters in fitness. At the beginning of the season, the recovery time is a lot longer than at the end of the season.

  11. #11
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/8.30/...ies/s63595.htm

    Michael Lauer: Well typically we will exercise people for about 8-12 minutes, that's how long it usually takes to get somebody going very quickly and getting them to the point of maximal exhaustion. Let's say for a typical 50-year-old man, you'd expect the heart rate to rise from about 70 at rest to about 170 at peak exercise. And then what we'd like to see is the heart rate fall by at least 20 beats per minute during that first minute after exercise. That would take us down to 150. People with an abnormal heart rate recovery, the heart rate only falls by a little bit during that first minute after exercise. They were the ones who were at really high risk for subsequent death.

    Norman Swan: I think in the paper you defined the heart beat reduction as 12 beats per minute or less.

    Michael Lauer: Twelve beats a minute, that's correct.

    Norman Swan: As a reduction. Can you apply this knowledge, or is there any other research which suggests if you go for your average jog, measure your pulse at the end of it and your pulse a minute later, that's got any measure worth considering here?

    Michael Lauer: That's a very good question, because an average jog typically is not maximal exercise. We are looking at people who underwent some maximal exercise, and we're going to look at that as well. My guess is that it will work, but that's something that will require some further research.

    Norman Swan: What is it about the heart, what is it about the cardiovascular system that you're measuring here? Is it some sort of holistic measure that you can't pin it down to one thing, in other words you're getting a kind of global snapshot of the health of the cardiovascular system, or is it something specific?

    Michael Lauer: What we're actually measuring is something called the autonomic nervous system, that part of the nervous system that regulates heart rate and blood pressure and breathing. It's been known for a long time that abnormalities of the autonomic nervous system are correlated with death risk, but the problem is that the way in which these abnormalities are measured are very difficult. They require sophisticated equipment and they require the kind of tests which simply have not entered the realm of normal clinical practice. What we find is that these very, very simple measures that are obtained as part of regular routine exercise testing deflect what happens to the autonomic nervous system and provides us with just as powerful predictors of risk of death.

    Norman Swan: So what you're saying is you're not finding necessarily blocked coronary arteries; in other words you couldn't replace the stress test or some of these nuclear scans with this simple test, because it's not picking up a blocked artery which then you can go on and do an angioplasty on.

    Michael Lauer: Well we may very well; we are looking at something different than blocked coronary arteries. But what we can say is this: people have a normal heart rate recovery are at extremely low risk, and because they are at extremely low risk, it makes a lot more sense to manage them conservatively, and not project them to essentially risky procedures. If you know that somebody has a death risk of less than 1% per year then it really doesn't make very much sense to refer them for a procedure which carries with it a 1%-2% chance of death within 30 days.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    Why cool down? A very important reason is because a lot of the blood is shunted to the working muscles during the workout. If you suddenly stop or don't give yourself enough time to bring down the heart rate and allow the blood to return to the rest of the body (including the brain), you could end up with a lack of bloodflow to the brain, which causes that lightheadedness, and that causes you to black out.

    It only takes a few minutes (unless you're out of shape). What do you have to lose?

    Koffee

    Depends on the kind of biking you do.
    We go on recreational trails as fast as we can. Say 20 MPH and up. There are cross roads with a "chance" of cars. You slow down a bit or come to an abrupt stop. Once stopped it may take a minute to get up to full speed again. We cannot have blackouts on those stops.

    I simulate this reality on a trainer. Push the speed to 17 to 19 MPH for 20 minutes and HR 120 to 140 from my 55 at rest.
    During a one minute stop HR drops below 100. I do this often to no ill effect.
    This does not mean that this works for everyone.

  13. #13
    Senior Member plin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Michael Lauer: Well typically we will exercise people for about 8-12 minutes, that's how long it usually takes to get somebody going very quickly and getting them to the point of maximal exhaustion. Let's say for a typical 50-year-old man, you'd expect the heart rate to rise from about 70 at rest to about 170 at peak exercise. And then what we'd like to see is the heart rate fall by at least 20 beats per minute during that first minute after exercise. That would take us down to 150. People with an abnormal heart rate recovery, the heart rate only falls by a little bit during that first minute after exercise. They were the ones who were at really high risk for subsequent death.
    Interesting. The data is for average 50 year old man without particular training. 20 beats a minutes certainly indicates a very low fitness level. I wouldn't exercise very hard if I had that type of recovery rate. I am sure that a 50 year old serious rider can do a lot better than that.

  14. #14
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    Why cool down? A very important reason is because a lot of the blood is shunted to the working muscles during the workout. If you suddenly stop or don't give yourself enough time to bring down the heart rate and allow the blood to return to the rest of the body (including the brain), you could end up with a lack of bloodflow to the brain, which causes that lightheadedness, and that causes you to black out.

    It only takes a few minutes (unless you're out of shape). What do you have to lose?

    Koffee
    I probably wasn't clear. I did give up the stretching part a couple years ago, however, I still do the warm up and cool down routines.

    I was really editorializing a bit about the rapid fluctuations in medical or physiological advice we see in the media based on any little study done anywhere.
    Just Peddlin' Around

  15. #15
    contrarian lala's Avatar
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    If I don't cool down I have a nose explosion : sneezing and a bunch of mucus. ewwwww. Also, I get a bad chill.
    Higher ground for the apocalypse!

  16. #16
    bificurated RiotBoi's Avatar
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    I'm kinda wierd with cool downs, I usually dont do much, about a block or two before I get home I shift down to the littel chainring and take it easy. then about the time I get in the door my body just gushes out sweat, even though I hardly sweat at full exertion. *shrug*
    Split Tongue Drunk Hammer Weilding Death Merchant

  17. #17
    '05 NUEser EJ123's Avatar
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    Yeah, I had to run the mile for school a few weeks ago and

    the coach made us walk a lap around the track, after we were done. Last year we

    didnt do that, but its good we did this year.

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