How to Warm Up and Cool Down

How to Warm Up and Cool Down

If you are going to work out, how about indulging yourself into a warm-up before starting, and a cool-down after finishing. Generally, warming up and cooling down mean that you should keep your exercises at a slower pace and lessen the intensity of your activities. Certainly, it will prolong your exercise time, but correct warm-ups and cool-downs not only improve your exercising performance and reduce the risk of injuries, but also keep you healthier.

Warm up

A proper warm-up gets your body ready for activities. It speeds up the cardiovascular system, let the blood run to muscles gradually and increase the body temperature. A brief warm-up can reduce the pain on muscles and the risk of injuries.

Generally, warming up firstly works on the large muscle groups, like hamstrings. And then you can speed up the pace of activities specifically, or intensify your work out. You may sweat a little by warming up.

Examples of warming up include:

Walking: keep walking slowly for 5 to 10 minutes
Running: keep walking briskly for 5 to 10 minutes
Swimming: start your swimming slowly and then increase the tempo accordingly.

Cool down

When you’ve done your activities, a cool down helps your blood pressure and heart rate return to the normal level gradually. Most competitive athletes, such as marathoners, take cool-downs as important follow-ups after their exercises, since cool-downs help to regulate their blood flow.

Just like warming up, cooling down also focuses on the large muscles groups. After ending your workout, you need to continue this workout session but at a slower pace and reducing its intensity gradually.

Examples of cooling down include:

Walking: keep walking slowly for 5 to 10 minutes
Running: keep walking briskly for 5 to 10 minutes
Swimming: keep swimming casually for 5 to 10 minutes.

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If your exercises include multiple stretches, it’s better for you to warm up and cool down, because your muscles can get warm after that, which is a prerequisite for good athletic performance. Although there haven’t been exact conclusions about whether warming up and cooling down can protect exercisers from injuries, it’s certain that doing warm up and cool down can reduce the risk of injuries. Therefore, it may be necessary to add them into your exercise routine. Walking to the gym or coming back from the gym can also be the warm-up or cool-down. If you try, you can always find time for warming up and cooling down.

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