Warm Up And Cool Down Exercises}

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Warm Up and Cool Down Exercises


Scot Robinson

Walking is an ideal form of exercise. It’s very natural and humans have been doing it for years! In the past, walking was just part of life – food had to be gathered, animal herds had to be followed, and moves had to be made – all by walking. A dynamic warm-up means doing things that move your muscles and get the blood moving through them without relaxing them out (like stretches do). So doing things like taking a few skips or lifting your knees up high work well. Frog squats work well, too. Dressing appropriately is also important. Wear clothing that breathes. Choose light, loose-fitting clothing in the warm months and add layers in the cool months. Research is showing that minimal shoes are best for your foot and your health.

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Many people who run or do regular exercise do not realise the importance of these. Many consider them a waste of time or they could not be bothered doing them. This is not a wise decision. When you do any type of strenuous exercise you have to give your body time to adjust to the intensity of the exercise. Use this time to get the limbs flowing and work out any stiffness you may have from the previous workout session. Get your breathing rhythm going and your blood circulating.

Never do stretching on a cold muscle. You may not snap or break it. But, you can easily pull a muscle and, thus, hinder your performance. Always warm up your muscles before stretching them. Many athletes use a stick or pipe to massage their hamstring and other muscles prior to stretching. These are stretches that dynamically move your body. For example, swinging your arm in a circle (just like the swimmers before they start their swim), swinging each leg one at a time, etc. Look into ballistic stretches more. If you jump right into a workout with out warming up, your heart is not pumping fast enough to the oxygen and nutrients around in an efficient manner. This is especially important for expectant mothers because you need blood not only for your hard working muscles, but for your baby as well.

Using the same light activities as your warm up, take 10 minutes after your workout to let your heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature drop before sitting in your car to head home, hopping in the shower, etc. If you have been sleeping or sitting down for a length of time, your muscles are tight and cold. Your body is at rest and needs to gently be awoken and eased into the workout that is about to come. After you have completed your workout, spend at least a few minutes cooling down to allow the more aggressive blood flow to scale back to normal. Your heart has to work much harder to keep the body fully supplied with nutrients and blood during your workout, but when you stop there is a reduced need for blood flow.

Doing a warm up and cool down effectively doesn’t add that much time onto your workout, but it can ensure that you do not injure yourself or have to limp through the rest of your day or night with painful cramps.

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Warm Up and Cool Down Exercises