We all know how important exercise is in our daily lives. Staying active and healthy is one of the key requirements for the current lifestyle and the quality of lives as well. Exercise can help in keeping the body at a healthy weight, improve your muscle strength and body?s endurance. It can improve your health and reduces the risk of developing lifestyle diseases by building your immunity.
Exercising and staying active comes with its own rules and way of doing it. If you?re not careful with how your body will react to any sort of physical activity, you can end up injuring yourself. The most common step everyone would skip before training or exercising is ?Warm up? and ?cool down? exercises. Before you jump onto to that treadmill or hit the elliptical machine, it is important to warm up your body or in short prepare your body for the workout that?s going to follow. Also a cool down session after the workout. It definitely does add a few minutes to the exercise routine, but they also help in reducing stress on your muscles which can result in overall body pain.
Why Warm-Up ?
A warm-up session is usually stretching and light cardio exercise done in minimum controlled speed. These exercises are designed to increase circulation, increase body temperature and bring the heart rate up gradually and get your whole body prepared for the workout.
An effective warm-up will -
- Prevent injury to muscles, tendons and ligaments.
- Prepare the body for specific exercises which requires the body to have that extra pump and to be able to withstand the intensity of the workout.
- Increase blood flow and temperature of muscles so they will react quicker.
- Allows a greater range of movements of joints.
Why Cool down ?
It usually and predominantly should be stretching. A cool down session provides the body with a smooth transition from exercise back to a steady state of rest. The aim is to reduce the heart rate and breathing rates to gradually cool down the body temperature, return the muscles to their optimal state. It helps to get rid of lactic acid build up in the muscles which results in soreness and stiffness of the body.
A good cool down session will -
- reduce the heart rate and breathing rate
- Gradually cool the body?s temperature
- Return the muscles to their optimal length
- Prevent venous pooling of blood in the lower extremities
- Restore physiologic systems close to baseline
Although there's controversy about whether warming up and cooling down can prevent injuries, proper warm-ups and cool-downs pose little risk. Plus, they seem to give your heart and blood vessels a chance to ease into and out of an exercise session. So if you have the time or not always consider including a warm-up and cool-down in your workout routine.
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