By Cody Frank
Last week warming up was the focus of the article. This week the focus is on cooling down. After dancing or participating in a strenuous work out, a cool down is vital. Stretching for 5 minutes immediately after your work out will have its benefits.
A cool down will help to prevent injury and lessen pain. Stretching takes the pressure off your joins and allows the body to move smoothly. It improves your range of motion that assists in preventing injury and pain that can result from an active lifestyle. As a dancer, this is key to stay pain free.
Taking time to stretch will increase your blood circulation. Better circulation removes waste byproducts in your muscles that will help your body recover quickly. This increases blood flow that will improve your circulation. Preventing injuries is key for a dancer’s career.
After you cool down, your stress will be eased. Anxiety, worry, and exhaustion place strain on the body. Taking a few minutes to decrease this tension, you will experience a sense of relief and stress will start to fade away. Your body will not feel as stiff.
As a professional dancer, stretching/cooling down after exercise is important. It will lengthen your career and make you more marketable to choreographers and casting directors. If they see you stretching, they know you are thinking about the longevity of your career. Don’t be the dancer that skips a cool down, because your body needs it more than you know.