Remembering to take care of your body as you exercise correctly is key to ensuring that you can continue doing what you enjoy. This includes appropriately cooling down your body after an intense game of badminton through breathing exercises and stretching. Ensuring that you do this can help prevent injuries, allow your muscles to recover, and help you stay flexible.
After any form of exercise or game, it is essential to bring your heart rate back down. This is one of the first things you should do after you are done with any form of physical activity. One of the main ways people can do this is through deep breathing, as it helps to slow your pulse down by delivering more oxygen to your muscles.
There are several deep breathing exercises that you can try, such as the 4-7-8 technique. This one involves you taking an inhale in through your nose as you count to four, then holding the breath as you count to seven, finally releasing the breath out of your mouth as you count to eight. Repeating this exercise four or more times consecutively is recommended and allows your body to get the proper oxygen needed to begin healing your body.
While deep breathing, there are many positions you can be in to allow your body to get the full benefits of the exercise. You could sit upright with your legs crossed over one another or lay on your back with your face looking towards the sky. These positions can enable you to get more oxygen into your lungs as your spine should be straight, providing more access to it.
Stretching your body before and after exercise of any sort is vital to ensuring that you are treating your body well and allowing it to take care of itself properly. Every stretch is intended to target a different part of your body, so we will be listing a few of our favorite stretches for you to try the next time you play badminton.
- Forward lunges – place one leg in front of the other, arm length or so apart, and bend the leg in front putting all of your weight onto it. Do fifteen to twenty of these lunges with each leg. It will help not only your hips but your core as well as you hold the position.
- Head tilts – begin in a seated position with your back straight, lower your head until your chest tucks in your chin, and begin to move your head to the left before returning to your beginning position. Repeat the same process with your right side—an effective way to see if you have tension in your neck while beginning to loosen the muscles.
- Shoulder stretch – begin by placing one arm straight in front of you, then bring it across your body until it is across your chest with your palm extended over your opposite shoulder. Use your other hand to hold the arm’s elbow in place since you will be holding this stretch for ten to twenty seconds at a time. Then you will switch arms and do the same movement with the other one for the same duration. This exercise will not only help loosen the muscle here but also strengthen it.
- Toe touches – this exercise helps to target your hamstrings which can experience a lot of tension and strain during badminton. You begin these in an upright standing position; then, you begin to reach down with both hands towards your toes as far as you can go. It is okay here to bend your knees if needed as long as you keep your back straight.
- Wrist rotation – you start by placing your arms straight in front of you, creating a fist with each hand, and begin to slowly move them in tiny loops, ensuring that your wrist is moving in an outward motion. Do this ten times or more before switching it up and beginning to move them in the other direction. This one targets your wrist to help loosen tension.
Each of the stretches mentioned targets different muscles and areas of the body to ensure that you are correctly cooling down all of the different ones being used during a game. This is necessary because badminton is a full-body game that requires you to use muscles throughout your entire body, from your neck to your feet. These are a few of our favorite stretches used to cool our bodies down after a game.
Properly cooling your body down after a game of badminton provides your body with the opportunity to heal itself, prevent any unnecessary muscle soreness from occurring later on, and helps your muscles remain flexible.
- Lactic acid builds up – throughout the exercise of any type, lactic acid builds up within your body and is one of the main blocks in your body, preventing it from beginning to heal after a workout. However, properly cooling your body down allows the lactic acid to start to break down and release into the body, allowing your body to quicken the healing process.
- Excessive muscle soreness – is a common issue for many people who exercise. It can be pretty uncomfortable and prevent you from doing physical activities in the future due to the pain. While you may still be sore after doing your cool-down exercises, they should be able to help prevent any excessive pain or discomfort from forming as your muscles had the proper time to loosen and begin to heal.
- Flexibility – it is easier for someone to have a better range of motion of their body and move around more when they do not have any unwanted feeling of pain or soreness creeping into their day-to-day life. When the muscles can loosen and the tension is gone from them, the body has more ability to move and function.
Allowing your body to cool down after a workout or game can enable your body to perform better the next time your play. Your body has to be maintained and taken care of just like anything else in your life if you want it to be effective and bounce back after being worked so hard. So, the next time you workout or play a game of badminton, try to implement the breathing technique and stretches into your cool down – your body will appreciate it.