Cooling off after a workout is fairly normal, as your body's processes are attempting to maintain your core temperature. As a warm-blooded mammal, your internal temperature remains relatively constant — at approximately 98.6 degrees. Moving that number up or down a whole degree requires specific circumstances such as illness or extreme temperatures. However, wearing improper attire in cooler temps, dehydration and low blood sugar can cause you to feel chilled after exercise.
Proper Cool Down
Cooling down after a workout is beneficial, as it gradually reduces your body temperature and regulates your blood flow. It can also reduce muscle soreness and pulls. Drastic reductions in body temperature can lead to chills and possibly hypothermia. To cool down properly, continue your workout but reduce your intensity and pace gradually for 5 to 10 minutes. For instance, to cool down after a brisk walk, walk slowly for 5 to 10 minutes. If you were running, slow to a brisk walk for a cool down. After cycling, spin at higher revolutions per minute with low resistance. Also stretch your muscles afterward to slow the blood flow through your body and reduce your injury risk.
Wearing proper clothing can prevent chills during and after a workout. Layering your clothes, particularly in cold weather, is important in preventing hypothermia. Layers trap warm air closest to your body, keeping you insulated. As you warm up you can strip off a layer to prevent excessive sweating, which can be dangerous in cold weather: post-workout, your wet clothing will become cold, potentially dropping your body temperature too quickly. Also note that cotton fibers tend to hold water, so choose clothing that dries quickly. Top your layers with a wind-resistant shell and a hat and gloves if the weather is cold.
What you put in your body before your workout can play a role in how you feel post-exercise. Water is extremely important in regulating your body temperature; lack of it can lead to chills, nausea, dizziness and cramps. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology recommends drinking 16 ounces the night before a competition or intense workout and another 16 ounces when you wake up. You will need to keep drink during — sipping water every 10 to 20 minutes — and after your workout to restore the water lost.
Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, after exercise can also lead to feeling chilled or experiencing cold hands and feet. Not eating enough during the day and then putting in an a long workout leaves you at risk. According to an April 2001 study in "Diabetes Metabolism," post-exercise hypoglycemia is preventable; eating carbohydrates low on the glycemic index before your workout can keep your blood sugar stable. Avoiding over-training can also prevent post-exercise hypoglycemia. Schedule rest days throughout the week and take breaks during a workout to give your body's fuel stores time to recover.