Cooling down after exercise is important to the recovery process. Our exercise plans for PE (see Classroom) include ideas for cooling down for all sessions. It's a good idea to put a layer of clothing back on if it's a cool day and to re-hydrate with plenty of water.
When cooling down, children should be encouraged to reduce the intensity of their exercise gradually so that:
- heart rates can slowly return to resting levels
- any chances of dizziness are reduced
- adrenaline levels slowly decline
- working muscles can relax
Five to 10 minutes of slowing exercise such as running, jogging, and walking should be sufficient to return breathing rates to normal. This may be followed by some static stretching for:
- Back of thighs
- Front of thighs
Cool down is also important as it acts like a mental and physical wind down. Some children will struggle to go from an active running session back to a quiet classroom environment, so use the cool down to calm down too.