Warming up and cooling down is a vital part of exercise, as it prepares your body for the pressure it is about to come under before a workout and then helps to slow your body down for resting afterwards. Without these important procedures, you could put your body under undue stress and cause yourself discomfort or even injury. It only takes 5 minutes, so don’t rush into working out without it!
Always gradually increase the pace and resistance of your workout, never rush straight into an intensive training session. It’s good to vary the pace sometimes within a session, but you always want to make sure the beginning and end are gradually built up and then slowed down again.
Warming up helps the blood flow to your muscles, which helps to prevent injury to your ligaments and joints, amongst other risk factors. Gym instructors at leading gyms in Nottingham say you should start with some light cardio just to get your heart rate up and get moving, so some jogging on the spot should do followed by some stretching, all of which shouldn’t take longer than between 5-10 minutes. It should all be within your comfort zone and shouldn’t overstretch yourself or cause discomfort.
The aim of cooling down is to prevent you from just stopping after an intensive workout, which would shock your muscles and more than likely cause you extreme stiffness the following day. To prevent this, simply jog on the spot as you did during your warm up, gradually slowing down as you go until you get your heart into the resting level. Then follow this with some light stretches too.
Then the next day when you wake up you shouldn’t have as much stiffness, which can be extremely uncomfortable and doesn’t need to happen if you follow these simple exercises!
Other Top Tips
- Stay hydrated. Always have a water bottle nearby during your workout so that you make sure you drink enough as you will become dehydrated otherwise.
- Have a nice relaxing shower afterwards. A warm shower will also help to relax your muscles after they’ve been working hard contracting during your workout and you will feel rested afterwards.
- Make sure you have supportive footwear. If you don’t have adequate training shoes then your body will be put under more pressure and your posture won’t be right or properly supported, so having good footwear will ensure you have a comfortable workout too.