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The Importance of Warm Up and Cool Down Exercises

Warm up exercises

Are you planning to start a new workout routine? Whether you’re doing push-ups in the park or a 5k run, it’s important to do a good warm-up first. Experts agree that a good warm-up loosens the body and prepares the mind for action.

There are several great methods, but also moves that you should avoid. And do you know what’s just as important as warm-up exercise? A good cool-down. This article focuses on warm-up and cool-down techniques for the working out on an exercise bike.


Importance of warm-up exercises


Warm-up exercises physically prepare your body for a strenuous workout by progressively increasing your body temperature. The importance of warming up correctly includes the following points:


• Warm-up exercises increase blood circulation throughout your tendons, muscles and ligaments. The warm-up prepares your whole body to get moving — your heart rate gradually increases, and your tendons and ligaments loosen up, lowering the risk for any tears or injuries.


• Warm-up exercises are also a form a mental preparation. Getting into a strenuous workout, such as lifting heavy weights or an advanced aerobics class, can put your body under a great deal of stress. Having an adequate warm-up before moving on to your workout can increase your endurance and enhance the benefits of your exercise regimen.


What is the purpose of cool-down exercises?


The cool-down is just as important as the warm-up. A good cool-down exercise returns your body back to its pre-exercise state, helping your body to recover from your workout and reducing the risk of injury. A cool -own shouldn’t be seen as the end of your exercise routine, but rather the beginning of your next training session.


Good warm up exercises


People needs different kinds of warm-up exercises depending on their fitness level and exercise goals. But to give you a jumpstart, here are four basic goals for every warm-up:


Loosen up.
Loosen up your muscles and joints with some stretches. Start by rolling on your back, and stretching out your legs, hip flexors and glutes.



Increase your heart rate.
An increased heart rate warms up your muscles and jumpstarts your nervous systems. You can get your heart going with light cardiovascular exercise, like jogging or slowly rowing. Riding a bike on low resistance can also get your heart pumping. Make sure you can still talk with your buddy or sing along to your playlist.



Doing some dynamic stretches.
Stretch your warm muscles by continuously moving through a wide range of motion. You can stretch your arms in big circles in both directions, kick your legs forward, or touch your toes and reach for the sky.



Practice your work out.
Practice the movement patterns of your workout to improve muscle memory and prepare your body for action.




You can do a variety of warm-up exercises to get your body ready for a fun-filled work out. But remember that the cool-down exercises are just as important. A good cool-down consists of light exercises that help your body shift from a hard-core workout to resting mode.

The cool-down is important because it reduces strain on the heart. It also helps prevent dizziness and other discomfort caused by blood pooling in the lower extremities after exercise. It also gives you that “feel-good” feeling.


Best Cool-Down Exercises


There are a variety of cool-down exercises that you can do after working out. Here some of the best and most effective options:


Walking
No matter what kind of workout you just went through, walking is one the most popular and effective cool-down exercises. It doesn’t have to be a strenuous walk, where you stretch your muscles or pump up your arms. Just take a leisurely stroll where you keep your body moving while getting back your body to its neutral state.



Stretch your legs
Pull your each heel up behind you or try to reach your toes to stretch out your legs.



Stretch your arms
Even runners make sure to stretch their arms in order to loosen up the shoulders and back. Cross your arm across your body, or placing one hand behind your back.



Jumping jacks
They might seem like a move straight out of a middle-school gym class, but jumping jacks are a favorite cool-down for many people, because it gets your entire body moving.



Swimming
Isn’t it nice to have a dip after a strenuous workout? If you have a pool at home or at the gym, jump in and tread water. Just like jumping jacks, swimming engages almost all the muscles. And you don’t have to do an Olympic-style swim to cool down those muscles — lower your swimming intensity and don’t push too hard.



Household chores
Household chore as a cool down exercise? It might sound absurd, but this can be an excellent and practical cool-down exercise. You can pull out the lawn mower, do the laundry or wash the dishes. These chores engage most of your body to provide a light cool-down.



Dance
When you finish an intense workout, dancing can be a fun way to cool down. It’s a pretty light to keep working your muscles, and is also great for lifting your mood.



Now that you know the importance of warming up and cooling down, as well as different kinds of exercises, you can build a complete workout program. These exercises may not contribute to building up your muscles or improving endurance, but they do help condition your body for a strenuous workout, prevent injury and help your body get back to its resting state.



About the author

    Kristina Curtis

    Kristina is an exciting fitness enthusiast. After spending years in a sedentary job and gaining 40+lbs, Kristina took control of her health and fitness using various forms of exercise and creative cooking. That experience made her want to help others achieve their personal health and fitness goals.

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