Deep breathing, rehydration, and proper form when stretching—you’ve heard about how these cool-down steps are integral parts of a workout and training plan. And if you’re still skeptical about how important they are, let these top athletes and fitness buffs tell you why they’re effective in keeping muscular soreness and injuries at bay, especially after a tough round in the gym or on the field. Added bonus: They let you in on some specific products they use to help that post-workout recovery get better and faster.
Alyssa Valdez, professional volleyball player
“After practice, I normally cool down before washing and dressing up. In our team [Creamline Cool Smashers], after training, we go to the cold and hot plunge pool to help with muscle recovery. Then when I’m home, I used NormaTec, a pulse recovery system that helps muscles to relax and have better blood circulation for faster recovery.”
Plunging into hot and cold baths after an intense workout is called the contrast therapy: Cold water constricts the muscles while hot water expands blood vessels, causing increased blood flow, which stimulates circulation.
Image from www.pgashow.com
Normatec, meanwhile, is a control unit and attachment that goes around the legs, arms, or hips. It uses compressed air to massage limbs, mobilize fluid, and speed up recovery with the brand’s patented NormaTec Pulse Massage Pattern.
Neil Dy, model
“I feel like the best way to cool down is to stretch really well after working out. I usually get a mat and do a whole body stretch. I believe it relaxes your muscles and lessens the soreness or stiffness of the body after a day at the gym. Proper hydration is also key; make sure to hydrate properly after and replenish all the lost fluid in your body. I also eat foods rich in protein and get a massage on a weekly basis.”
David Licauco, actor
“Cool down brings your body back into a state of rest, that’s why it’s important. It can also decrease soreness and help speed up the recovery of the muscles. Stretching, sometimes even icing the joints, also help, especially after you’ve done a lot of jumping and squatting.”
Tohid Ajdani, DJ, host, model
“Usually, for people who work out for an hour a day or so, they like the soreness of the muscles afterward. It makes them feel a little bit that they got the workout done the right way. Athletes and marathon runners get muscle massages and hire their own therapists for muscle pain and maintenance. Ice baths also help.”
Nicholas Villacin, athlete
“After training, I usually eat right away cause I’m still burning calories. I tend to go for quinoa, chicken, and broccoli, along with a muscle/protein shake. I also rely on acupuncture, stretching, and most importantly, ice baths. Sometimes, when therapists are unavailable, I use rollers to release tension in my muscles.”
The DLSU Men’s Football Team member also shares that he and his team mates use an aftersport rubdown to help with muscle recovery. The ºA-Game Aftersport Rubdown is a sports recovery product made for athletes who want a more efficient cool down regimen, as the patented formula helps regulate body temperature and eases muscle soreness and fatigue caused by physical exertion.
As for muscle rollers, the Elecom Corol Roller is an electric re-chargeable device that relieves sore muscles and swelling in the limbs. Made in Japan, it uses strong vibrations that are made more impactful by the pointed wheels that roll against the skin, mimicking the effects of a Shiatsu massage. The application of pressure to several points in the body releases tension and relieves the body of muscle ache.