Warm up and cool down exercises important?
Answer is yes! Very important.
Most people are guilty of this . Skipping the warm up and cool down exercises. So lets start by explaining what exactly is a warm up. Basically warming up is to increase our body temperature in to prepare for a higher intensity exercise. Its a 5-10 min light cardio or basic body movements that helps to raise the heart rate gradually. It can be in a form of cardio (walking, jogging, cycling and swimming) carried out in a light intensity manner.
Very importantly, remember, stretching itself is not a form of warm up. Stretching can be part of it, and its a form of exercise too.
Why do we need to warm up ?
- helps our body adjust from resting to moving, mobilises the major joints
- Raises our metabolism, heart and respiratory rates gradually hence promoting effective fat loss
- Increases body temperature by improving blood flow, making body movements effective
- Increases muscle temperature, thus improving the chemical reaction in them.
- Improves blood circulation, our body takes about 3-5 min to distribute blood to our muscles properly especially lower body
- Improves oxygenation (oxygen uptake from the blood to muscles and brain)
- Prepare body for coordination, movements during sports
- Fires up the neuromuscular activities between your brain and muscle fibres
- Most importantly, reduce injuries: muscle or ligament strain, tears
- Lessen muscle soreness after workout
And the cool down process !
- enables our body to adjust from moving to resting
- Lowers the heart rate after training in a controlled manner. Not abrupt
- Helps to reduce muscle soreness after training, as it deals with the removal of waste products from our muscles during recovery
- Facilitates muscle relaxation
- You will feel relieved and good after an intense workout, mentally
How to cool down ? Simple .
- it’s a short period (usually 5-10min) of active exercise performed immediately after training or sports.
- It’s actually the warm up in reverse !!
- Do 5-10 min of very light intensity of cardio, gradually increase in the intensity
- Cardio such as brisk walk/ jogging . Depending on your fitness level . Basically , simple movements.
For best results, try to do some stretching in between the warm up or cool down periods. Hold each stretch for about 10-20 sec. You can even hold longer than that. There is no harm stretching more.
But do remember, try not to do intense stretch when your muscles are cold. Meaning, before you warm up. There is a risk of straining them. Stretching is best done after the whole workout when your muscles are warmed.
So, always spend some time on warming and cooling down . It makes your training journey more sustainable and injury free.
By the way, you also burn extra fats by doing them ! So why not ?