An article in a recent ACSM's Health and Fitness Journal started me to thinking about the importance of the cool down after a cardio workout. The cool down is almost as overlooked as the flexibility component of a workout. So many times I have seen members rush out of class to their next appointment without properly cooling down. The article "Cardiac Arrest Litigation" covered the responsibility of club staff to inform participants about the importance of taking a few minutes to cool down. One of the examples of cardiac arrest sited was in the Corpus Christi Athletic Club in Corpus Christi, TX., where I worked several years ago. One of the members in the middle of a stair stepper workout decided to go over and talk to someone on a treadmill. He stood there carrying on a conversation. Blood pooling led to SCA. Even with the assistance of the staff, he didn't make it. Of course, there is more to this involving legal reasons, but my point is that abrupt cessation of exercise can lead to decreased venous return and blood pooling in the legs. I quite often send my step class participants out to the treadmills to walk slowly for a few minutes after the cardio portion of the class. The point is always cool down. Slowly lower your intensity. Slowly lower your pace. I want you to be able to walk out to your ride home; not carried out to your ride!
Resource: ACSM's Health and Fitness Journal Jan/Feb 2013