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Supple Leopard
Cooling down is probably the most overlooked aspect of an effective exercise regime. 
You should take pride in your warm down to avoid falling out of bed the day after a workout like a you have just set the mechanical bull Guinness world record.

Today I am embarking on a road trip to the ‘1000 steps’ in Ferntree Gully, a 1 hour drive east of Melbourne. A steep climbing trail that pays tribute to our diggers and gives you a small taste of the exhaustion felt by the Australian soldiers following the Kokoda trail in Papua New Guinea in World War 2.

With a beautiful hike endured, I wanted to share with an important piece of the puzzle to rebooting a weary desk bound body. History tells us that the cool down phase of your workout is just as important as the warm up (J,Polkinghorne, 2016). Failing to do so will help you pull up like an arthritis ridden hip of a seasoned golden retriever, not pleasant. But there is hope, as cooling down is probably the most overlooked aspect of an effective exercise regime, there is an easy solution - cool down! 
Now, give yourself a big pat on the back for getting out there & chasing that hard work, sweat and the optimal heart rate zones. But it shouldn't go unnoticed that our little hearts pump tirelessly to deliver blood throughout our body to ensure we can continue to put one foot in front of the other. It’s time we repaid the faith and maximised the warm down to ease your body back to reality and fast track the recovery of your damaged muscles in a nurturing way. 
Firstly, a slow walk or jog to bring your heart rate down gradually will help avoid fainting or dizziness, all that blood that rushed to your legs to power your little pistons will need to make its way back to your heart, if you stop suddenly, the blood can stay in your legs and leave your top half in dire straights, consequently increasing lactic acid build up (the achey throb) and/or dizziness. During your slow walk or job, controlling your breathing with allow you to check back in with your body and aid in bringing body temperature back down.

Secondly, stretching during a cool down will be super beneficial as your muscles will be warm and flexible for deeper stretching. Allowing you to stretch the mysofascia (the dense, tough tissue which surrounds and covers all of your muscles) to maintain your status as a supple leopard, reducing the risk of injury and reducing the effects of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). DOMS is that achey growing pain feeling you can have after a solid workout. 
Finally, refuelling your body with food and water is just as vital. A meal that has a good amount of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Maybe a salad with avocado, some chicken for proteins, or some white fish which will be easy for your body to break down. 

The body knows no limits, but treat it with the love and respect it deserves. Recovering well will fast track your readiness for your next workout, or beers, but you wont feel like beers if you have lactic acid up to your eye balls. 
James Polkinghorne
 
James Polkinghorne
After 8 successful years at the Brisbane Lions, James made a ‘grassroots’ move home to Melbourne looking forward to taking it back a notch with Essendon in the VFL. Cracking into an MBA and gaining experience in various business environments has provided a pathway into life after footy, however in a rare twist of fate, Essendon AFL had a few team issues (to say the least) so James has had to pull on the Jumper for one more year. Knowing exactly what it takes to perform at an elite level, but still get a ‘life’ James is super skilled and experienced at sharing, communicating and mentoring ‘Balance’.
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