A 12-minute post-run cooldown video

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One of my favorite ways to cool down after a run is a post-workout walk. It lowers my heart rate and signals to my body that it’s okay to get out of fight-or-flight mode.

But there’s more going on in the body during a run than pumping the heart extra hard. When we run, our leg muscles are flexed for long periods of time. So in a post-run cooldown, you might want to counter that momentum by stretching the muscles.

While the research isn’t clear whether a post-run stretch improves recovery, it’s undeniable that it feels great, which is a benefit you shouldn’t discount.

“[Cooling down with some stretching] It gives the individual a few minutes to switch gears between what they’re doing and what’s next, reflect on what they’ve done, and build confidence and trust around their exercise routine,” says Caitlin Baird, CEP, a USA Triathlon Level 1 at New York University Langone. coach and an exercise physiologist at Health’s Sports Performance Center, previously said good + good. “If you ask practitioners in the field, cooldown is definitely an important part of any training.”

You also know what your body needs. For example, Barry’s trainer and Nike running coach Sasha Handal says that he sometimes feels compression in his lower back because his muscles get tired from long runs. So in his cooldown, he does stretches that bring space to his spine and his hips.

That’s just one of the ways you’ll expand in this 12-minute after-run cooldown video, led by Handal, who good + goodCoach of the Month

“This cooldown is more focused on flow and breathing, similar to a yoga sequence,” explains Handal. “Focus on digging deeper into the movement and trying to expand.”

You’ll start with a series of forward folds that release your hamstrings and open up the spine and shoulders. Knee hugs and twists come later. And then you move into a bit of yoga flow with downward and upward dog as well as hip openers like pigeon. Throughout it all, remember to breathe, and if a stretch feels particularly yummy, stay in it for as long as you like.

“Let yourself be completely released, completely surrender,” says Handal. “That’s all we can really ask for from a cooldown.”

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