DON’T SKIP the Warm Up or Cool Down for Exercising!
WHY you ask?
*A good warm-up
*Dilates your blood vessels so your muscles are well supplied with oxygen.
*Raises your muscles’ temperature for optimal flexibility and efficiency.
*Slowly raises your heart rate, which helps minimize stress on your heart.
When I workout first thing after waking, a warm up is crucial so that I don’t injure myself! These days, I can wake up pretty stiff and have hurt my neck when I’ve skipped a warm up. So now I am adamant about incorporating this into my routine.
—-Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes depending on the intensity of the activity.
—Warm up your entire body—
Perform shoulder rolls, neck stretches, quads and hamstrings stretches, even a few calf raises and jumping jacks.
*A good cool down/Stretch
*Keeps the blood flowing throughout the body which can reduce the chances of heart rate and blood pressure dropping rapidly, possibly causing light-headedness.
*Slows down the heart rate and lowers your body temperature to normal.
*Is beneficial because your limbs, muscles and joints are still warm; therefore allowing you greater range of motion and less stress on the joints and tendons.
*Can help reduce the buildup of lactic acid, which can lead to muscles cramping and stiffness.
This is one of the best parts for me. :)
When my muscles and body are warm, I truly feel an increase in my flexibility and mobility when I stretch.
—Walk 5 minutes, or until your heart rate gets below 120 beats per minute.
—Hold each stretch 10 to 30 seconds. (Do not bounce). Perform side to side neck holds, quads and hamstrings holds, across the body arm stretches for back, shoulders and triceps.
—Remember to breathe while you’re stretching. Exhale as you begin the stretch, inhale while holding the stretch.
A Warm Up and Cool Down is important for all forms of exercising—cardio, strength training, HIIT workouts, hiking etc.
So DON’T SKIP them!