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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:06 am 
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I know I myself used to be guilty of being a semi tough guy

I thought I didn't need a cool down because I'm ok with walking to the locker and then to the car for a cool down. I do believe most people don't know why cool downs are necessary. While studying for Exercise Physiology 102 I read something that made me think and wanted to share it with everyone on here. Since I take a lot from this site and also offer what I can when I can....anyways this is directly from my text book.


(Physiology of Sport and Exercise 4th edition) pg 465-466

Cool-Down and Stretching Activities

Every endurance exercise session should conclude with a cool down period. The best way to accomplish cool down is to slowly reduce the intensity of the endurance activity during the last several minutes of a workout. After running, for example, a slow, restful walk for several minutes helps prevent blood from pooling in the extremities. Stopping abruptly after an endurance exercise bout causes blood to pool in the legs and can result in dizziness or fainting. Also, catecholamine levels might be elevated during the immediate recovery period, and this can lead to a fatal heart arrhythmia. After the cool down period, stretching exercises can be perfromed to facilitate increased flexibility.

Long story short there ARE benefits to cool downs that even me the tough guy John Corless didn't know existed. Also I didn't know there was a possibility of fatal heart arrhythmias.....Just want to share the knowledge guys.

John

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:14 am 
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If you watch sprinters on a track, or even long distance runners once their race is over, they always instinctively walk around afterwards for a few minutes. Some just lie on their back and pant. Both do the same thing. It`s an instinctive response. You don`t have to think about doing it. Re-read the paragraph you just posted and you`ll see that this is what they`re talking about. If you can walk to to locker room and then to the car, you have cooled down. Stretching is optional, but it is the best time to do it since you`re already warmed up. I don`t see this as part of the cooldown but just an opportunity to take advantage of the situation.


I think the take away from this is that if you have a group of people that just finish a long run or other activity and one person just stops and doesn't wander around a bit panting and catching his breath, watch him because he may be having a heart attack. It`s better to just slow down the group and walk in the last few minutes. You see that the focus changes when you`re talking about training others.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:23 am 
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stuward wrote:
If you watch sprinters on a track, or even long distance runners once their race is over, they always instinctively walk around afterwards for a few minutes. Some just lie on their back and pant. Both do the same thing. It`s an instinctive response. You don`t have to think about doing it. Re-read the paragraph you just posted and you`ll see that this is what they`re talking about. If you can walk to to locker room and then to the car, you have cooled down. Stretching is optional, but it is the best time to do it since you`re already warmed up. I don`t see this as part of the cooldown but just an opportunity to take advantage of the situation.



If you literally get off of the treadmill the eliptical etc and walk for 30 seconds to your car and then drive home you didn't techincally cool down. That risk for the fatal arrhythmias is what concerns me. I was mentioning that so people actually do a cool down. I don't believe a 30 second walk to the car consists of enough of a cool down. I actually do them now. I didn't before but to each their own. I just wanted to share facts.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:34 am 
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CorlessJohnJ wrote:
(Physiology of Sport and Exercise 4th edition) pg 465-466
<snip>Stopping abruptly after an endurance exercise bout causes blood to pool in the legs and can result in dizziness or fainting. Also, catecholamine levels might be elevated during the immediate recovery period, and this can lead to a fatal heart arrhythmia.

John, does the book have any footnotes citing evidence that these 2 statements are true? I don't think they are. I'm willing to be taught otherwise, but these both sound groundless to me. Also notice the word "might"! If catecholamine elevation were that dangerous, why don't people have fatal heart arrhythmias all around us every day? People's catecholamines get elevated for lots of reasons all the time. They don't die. Well, eventually they do, but not everytime they get excited, have their first kiss, are startled by a slamming door, all of which elevate catecholamines as much or more than I imagine they are elevated after a bout of endurance exercise.

As one of my old professors used to say when something in the textbook didn't agree with what he taught, "My doctorate is just as good as his." Not strictly true in this case, but just being in a textbook doesn't make something true.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:36 am 
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CorlessJohnJ wrote:
stuward wrote:
If you watch sprinters on a track, or even long distance runners once their race is over, they always instinctively walk around afterwards for a few minutes. Some just lie on their back and pant. Both do the same thing. It`s an instinctive response. You don`t have to think about doing it. Re-read the paragraph you just posted and you`ll see that this is what they`re talking about. If you can walk to to locker room and then to the car, you have cooled down. Stretching is optional, but it is the best time to do it since you`re already warmed up. I don`t see this as part of the cooldown but just an opportunity to take advantage of the situation.



If you literally get off of the treadmill the eliptical etc and walk for 30 seconds to your car and then drive home you didn't techincally cool down. That risk for the fatal arrhythmias is what concerns me. I was mentioning that so people actually do a cool down. I don't believe a 30 second walk to the car consists of enough of a cool down. I actually do them now. I didn't before but to each their own. I just wanted to share facts.


John
Well then, cool down while sitting in your car. What does it matter where you cool down or what you do while you do it. Stu is pointing out that cooling down just happens. You don't have to do anything special. See my comment above re the concern over arrhythmias.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:38 am 
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For what I know, cooldown is okay and a bit useful after a hard endurance training, in example, intervals or some other constant high pulse exercise. But I have never thought it as absolutely necessary. Or at least is it necessary to actually think about the issue and always save time for it. It might be also good to get the all the lactic acid and other waste off your legs and other muscles with lighter work and this cool down. I think this problem could be a bit overaexaggerated here, as it might cause something and can, in the worst and rarest case, lead to something bad. Stretching for sure ain't a must, and when it's done inproperly, it might cause more damage than it actually helps.

Quote:
Every endurance exercise

This caught my eye. I for one don't take cooldown so seriously because I don't think I'm training in the actual zones where I would need to cool down. My average pulse for a workout is somewhere along 145 or below, and only in rare cases I have to breath more heavily. Never exhausted after a work out. So it's not too much of an endurance exercise. But is my usual running exercises either? What is considered as an endurance exercise to fit the previous standards? It must take higher heart rate or far more duration in running for you to actually faint or have heart problems when you stop. And also does your own endurance effect on the reguirement of a cooldown? Ain't my circulatory and respitarory systems more accustomed to hard exercises, and then better at adjusting the blood flow and breathing when, in example, comparing to some obesed non-athlete?

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After running, for example, a slow, restful walk for several minutes helps prevent blood from pooling in the extremities

Many people, me including, already do this on common basis. I usually walk, dress up and ride my bicyle home. That's all the cool down I need. I would say there are many cases where this already happens without people actually noticing. It's hard to imagine someone who actually stops moving for several minutes straight after endurance exercising.

So yeah, I'm a little sceptic but if someone who knows more can share some light on this issue. I would remember this topic has been mentioned here before a month back or so.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:48 am 
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Although it`s rare, long distance runners do occasionally have heart attacks at the finish line of marathons and even shorter races. Whether this is a result of improper cooldown or the catabolic nature of the sport or a combination of the two is debatable. What`s not debatable is that having a defibrillator at the finish line can save lives. For example, Alberto Salazar would be dead now otherwise.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:04 am 
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Dub wrote:
For what I know, cooldown is okay and a bit useful after a hard endurance training, in example, intervals or some other constant high pulse exercise. But I have never thought it as absolutely necessary. Or at least is it necessary to actually think about the issue and always save time for it. It might be also good to get the all the lactic acid and other waste off your legs and other muscles with lighter work and this cool down. I think this problem could be a bit overaexaggerated here, as it might cause something and can, in the worst and rarest case, lead to something bad. Stretching for sure ain't a must, and when it's done inproperly, it might cause more damage than it actually helps.

Quote:
Every endurance exercise

This caught my eye. I for one don't take cooldown so seriously because I don't think I'm training in the actual zones where I would need to cool down. My average pulse for a workout is somewhere along 145 or below, and only in rare cases I have to breath more heavily. Never exhausted after a work out. So it's not too much of an endurance exercise. But is my usual running exercises either? What is considered as an endurance exercise to fit the previous standards? It must take higher heart rate or far more duration in running for you to actually faint or have heart problems when you stop. And also does your own endurance effect on the reguirement of a cooldown? Ain't my circulatory and respitarory systems more accustomed to hard exercises, and then better at adjusting the blood flow and breathing when, in example, comparing to some obesed non-athlete?

Quote:
After running, for example, a slow, restful walk for several minutes helps prevent blood from pooling in the extremities

Many people, me including, already do this on common basis. I usually walk, dress up and ride my bicyle home. That's all the cool down I need. I would say there are many cases where this already happens without people actually noticing. It's hard to imagine someone who actually stops moving for several minutes straight after endurance exercising.

So yeah, I'm a little sceptic but if someone who knows more can share some light on this issue. I would remember this topic has been mentioned here before a month back or so.


The only reason I brought this up is because I remember telling myself and others a cool down is bs and that it isn't needed. I bust ass when I workout and usually kill it. Some people have said they literally walk to their car and thats it. I after reading that couldn't not mention the possibility of arrhythmias that supposedly could be fatal. I know it's crazy of me to believe what I'm being taught in a text book but everything that is taught in this text is usually based of years of research clinical studies etc. I'm sure as more time passes and I learn more and more I'll be posting other things that interest me.

I learn as I go that I lot of the stuff I thought I knew I knew wrong. Weird how that works.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:26 pm 
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Stu--I completely agree with having defibrillators at finish lines! Of course, I believe that they should be widely available in all areas, because arrhythmic attacks can occur anywhere, any time. Whether they are more likely after a long race than they are in other circumstances, I really don't know. Are you aware of any studies or statistics?

John--Learn the stuff in your textbooks, but always stay skeptical. If you read something that doesn't seem right, follow up the references, and stay aware that authors sometimes cite a source, but misquote it, so if you have the chance to look up sources, do it sometimes. You obviously can't do that with every source cited in a book or in every paper you read, but doing it once in a while can be informative.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:36 pm 
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Andy, I don't know how well it's been studied but apparently there is a dose relationship between number of marathons run and risk of heart attacks. I've seen it said that chronic runners are at 50% greater risk of heart attack compared to the general public. It also seems that the finish of the race is the most dangerous. Those doing interval training have reduced risk. However it's only the HIIT promoters that have these stats. Art Devaney is adamantly opposed to long distance running for this reason. I'll have to look for studies.

http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/heart-a ... sports-263

I think what it comes down to is that running puts stress on the heart and frequent running doesn't allow the heart to recover from the previous bout. When you do something really strenuous, like a race, the heart is in an already stressed condition and can't deal with the new stimulus.

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Last edited by stuward on Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:38 pm 
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That's a good enough reason for me to avoid long-distance running. :grin:

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:54 pm 
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Jungledoc wrote:
That's a good enough reason for me to avoid long-distance running. :grin:

As if I needed a reason.

However, if someone wants to run a marathon, they should progressively and gradually increase the duration and intensity of their running over an extended period and the race itself should not be significantly harder than their training runs. Their long runs should be spaced out with shorter intense runs and strength training included in their program. The same principles apply to all types of training.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 5:11 pm 
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So then, the next question is whether doing some sort of formal cool-down would change this.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 5:14 pm 
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Jungledoc wrote:
So then, the next question is whether doing some sort of formal cool-down would change this.


Exactly, and I don't think this is clear at all.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/15/healt ... ref=health

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 6:14 pm 
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blood "pool"ing
I think of blood flowing and generally being contained in the vessels, veins, and capillaries. Does it flow out and stay in the extremeties sometimes?
Or does it mean that more blood lingers behind, and does not flow back

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_does_the ... oling_mean

ok I see this. Guess I better keep it circulating!


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