Warming up and cooling down your body before and after your workouts is critical to keeping your body injury free and feeling good after your workouts. Most people want to get the most out of their workouts and feel warming up and cooling down is not a good use of their time. Well this is not the case, here are some very important reasons why you should be spending time warming up and cooling down.
Importance of warming up: - Getting your core temperature up before you start vigorous exercise is critical to loosen up your muscles and tendons to prevent injury - Warming up increasing the amount of calories you burn through your workout - You will find when you are warmed up you are less likely to be out of breath during your workouts - Warming up increases your concentration keeping you more focus - Warming up helps to reduce muscle stiffness
It takes your body around 3 minutes to realize it needs to start pumping more blood to the muscles. You should be warming up from 5-10 minutes. Each person is different and may need more. Exercise such as walking, dynamic stretching and light static stretching are great ways to get your body ready for working out. Taking deep breaths while you warm up will supply the body with oxygen getting it ready for a great workout.
Importance of cooling down: - Cooling down reduces the pulse getting your heart rate back to normal - Cooling down allows the blood flow back to the heart to help you reduce the amount of lactic acid in the muscles causing muscle pain - Reduces delayed onset soreness - Increase your flexibility - Cooling down will help you avoid getting dizzy, light-headed, cramps and shortness of breath
It also takes your body 3 minutes to cool down. A slow walk or slow body movement followed by stretches that you hold for about 30 seconds each will be a sufficient cool down.
You will find by adding in a warm up and cool down to your workouts you will be making your workouts much more effective and efficient. Remember working out and staying fit is about the health of your body. Take care of your body first and foremost and your fitness goals will follow.
Source: The importance of warm up and cool down before and after a sports activity/workout