Check out this interesting video featuring Dr. Kelly Starrett - he is a pioneer at keeping professional athletes mobile, healthy, and performing at the top of their game.
Kelly says -
Today’s mission is to examine your post-training practices. Too many times I witness really good athletes perform an excellent warm up, perform heroic feats of strength and wattage, then well, do nothing. People, after strenuous training, you’ve got to take care of yourself. If you are competing in a brutally short event, you’ve got to do some cool down. If you are an endurance athlete, you’ve got to do some cool down (obviously not 2x your workout length) . If you are a strength athlete, you’ve got to perform some kind anti-stiffness protocol. A ton of the problems we see start out as non-cool down adaptation errors. How do you think you got so stiff? Why didn’t you “recover” from your last workout? We need to control the things we can control. For crying out loud, go to any olympic track and see how many of those athletes “cool down” on the other track. Watch the swimming events and witness how many laps the athletes swim after they compete. Even racing horses are cooled down for crying out loud (they are typically better cared for than you btw). Obviously you don’t have to cool down for 40 min after a 20 min sprint piece. But, are you performing any cool down? Are you drinking and eating anything in the first 20-30 min window? Or, do you simply go back to work or the couch? I know, I know! Time is crunched. It’s hard to fit it all in when you train at elite levels of intensity. In this video, I’m referencing the fact that my athletes were about to compete in a 10 minute effort. A simple guideline is for them to spend 15-20 minutes cooling down. This could include walking, rowing, mobing etc. Do it for a week. Budget some time to actually cool down and see how you feel.
This is important stuff here! It is also the reason why we get on our clients so much to perform our "After" work and get on your case about skipping out immediately upon completion. Be smart, treat your body right and you will thank yourself for it (especially if you are a lifer).