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Importance of Warm-Up and Cool-Down Routines in ExercisesAdmin 22-06-2021
Remember all the times when your fitness instructor strictly made you warm up before an exercise or cool down after the rigorous exercise. And you had to follow through even when you did not want to.
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Going back to the topic, warming up and cooling down before and after exercise respectively are two very important things according to a majority of fitness instructors, trainers, and teachers. But why is it that important? What happens when you skip the warm-ups and cool-downs?
We are going to discuss that in this blog, so keep reading and if you like what you read be sure to share it with others who might benefit from it (*watching that friend who always skips the cooling down routine!*).
What are warm-ups and cool-downs?
As your gym instructor may have told you, a warm-up or cool-down routine is a milder, lower intensity version of your actual workout. It is intended to allow your body to prepare for exercise or to bring it back to its normal state.
The warm-up routine helps your body and muscles get prepared for the exercises and ensures that your muscles get used to the movement and not get pulled while working out.
It is important to loosen your joints before a workout for better mobility and warm-up does just that.
Cool-down on the other hand ensures that your body gets time to slowly go back to its normal state. Cooling down is just as important as warming up your muscles. As you may prepare your body and muscles for 5-10 minutes before exercise, you also need 5 to 10 minutes of low-intensity exercises after your workout to bring your body’s and muscles’ state back to normal.
Benefits of warm-ups
Warm-up stretches or exercises are necessary to help you build your muscle flexibility gradually to improve your overall workout performance. Abruptly starting your workout without a proper warm-up may increase your risk of injury during the workout.
To motivate you further for doing your pre-workout warm-up, here are some benefits that it has to offer you.
It improves blood flow
A good warm-up session before the exercise increases blood flow across your body allowing oxygen and the necessary nutrition to reach your muscles faster. This gives your muscles the required strength to perform better while working out.
Your muscles often go through damage while working out and that is normal when you are working out to build muscle strength and mass. However, what is important is that you allow the muscles to repair and build onto it.
The nutrition reaching your muscles through blood also helps to repair the wear and tear faster. This means you reach your fitness goal faster.
It improves your gym performance
Warming up before a workout allows you to loosen your joints and stretch your muscles so that you can move more freely. Without a proper warm-up, your joints will be stiff and may cause soreness when practicing the exercise movements.
This will increase the soreness at the end of your workout that you can easily avoid with a few minutes of pre-exercise warm-up.
A warm-up session before the workout helps you perform better at your gym. Don’t be surprised if you were able to do an extra set of push-ups thanks to your 10 minutes warm-up.
Reduces your risk of injury
While it may not completely keep you safe from gym injuries, a warm-up session before a workout will help smoother muscle movement to reduce the stiffness in your muscles.
When the contraction and relaxation movement of your muscles gets smoother, it becomes a little easier to perform an exercise. The better your muscle movement will be, the lesser risk you run of suffering from an injury while working out.
Benefits of cool-downs
Cooling down after an exercise is just as important as warming up before an exercise. If warm-ups prepare your body for exercise, cool-downs help to bring it back to its normal state.
While many people do go through with a warm-up session, many skip the cool-downs thinking it is not necessary for them to do it, or that their body will cool down on its own while they go through the day.
However, the cool-down session is just as necessary as a pre-workout warm-up. Here are some reasons why you should not skip a post-workout cool-down routine.
It helps in decreasing soreness
It is a known fact that when the body starts to heave for oxygen, it releases lactic acid. This acid is one of the reasons why your muscles feel too sore. Feeling a little sore is natural after a workout, however, if it is sore enough that you do not want to exercise again the next day, then that may be the lactic acid in your body.
Cooling down routine will help drain some of the lactic acids from your body allowing it to feel a little better than before.
It brings your blood pressure and heart rate down
Exercises and workout schedules are made to burn calories and give you the fit lean look that you desire. However, during this workout, your heart rate and blood pressure may increase and may cause what is called blood pooling.
In this, the blood in the lower parts of your body expands and that makes it difficult to reach back to the heart. This may cause you to feel lightheaded and dizzy after a long workout.
Cooling down helps you to bring your blood pressure back to normal and reduces the stress on your heart too.
How long should a warm-up last?
Depending on the intensity and duration of your training, it can last from 3-10 minutes. The same goes for cooling down as well. Here it is important to know that for high-intensity workouts, it is better to keep your warm-up time low.
How can I cool down at home?
Cooling down comprises nothing but the same exercises that you do but at a slower pace and lower intensity. So, if you are working out at home, just do what you were doing slowly and mildly.
Is walking a good warm-up?
If you are thinking of running or jogging as your main exercise, then walking makes up for a great pre-workout warm-up that can help you ease your muscles and prepare them for the main workout.
Warming up before a workout and cooling down after it are two very important tasks in your daily workout routine. They will not only help you to prepare your body for exercises but also improve your performance at the gym.
Ask your gym instructor to add the warm-up and cool-down routine to your daily workout schedule. They will check your medical health history and prescribe you a set of exercises that you can perform to reach your fitness goals faster.
If you haven’t joined a gym yet, you can find one near you using the VFitnessclub gym listing portal. Many gyms and fitness centers can help you create the right workout schedule for you to help you reach your fitness goals with relative ease and information.
Many fitness facilities use gym management software to help their gym members to track their fitness and workout schedule using their smartphones. If your gym has yet to implement it, ask your trainer or gym manager to start a free trial of the gym management software to understand how it works for the betterment of not just the members but also for the gym owners and their profit as well.
Do you perform a warm-up and cool-down before and after a workout? Tell us your thoughts on the topics in the comments section below and if you think that this blog can help out a friend, be sure to share it with your friends too using those social media share buttons.