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Warm down lactic acid

Posted by Sam

A warm down will reduce the blood lactate levels significantly compared to a passive cool down. In a graduate exercise physiology class, students performed a Wingate and then some of them rode the cycle for a few minutes while others sat with no furthr exercise. The students with the active warm down displayed a marked blood lactate decrease several minutes post exercise compared to the passive students.

If one keeps exercising at a moderate/easy intensity, ventilation remains elevated, HR remains elevated (compared to rest) and blood is kept flowing to muscles. All of this helps to buffer the lactate. The elevated ventilation helps remove carbon dioxide quickly and the milking action of the muscles helps maintain venous return.

While massage feels good and might be better than just stopping and sitting, I do not think one would get the the benefits described above (except maybe the milking action for venous return).

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