Whether you’re on a mission to lose weight, improve your health and wellbeing or just have fun, exercise is the way forward. Whatever your sport or go-to exercise regime of choice may be, it’s essential that always you warm up before you work out and take the time to cool down once you’re finished.
But why is warming up and cooling down before and after exercise so important, and how can this boost your athletic performance and even reduce the risk of muscular and cardiovascular injury?
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What Are The Benefits Of Warming Up?
The NHS recommends a minimum 6-minute warm-up before exercise in order to reduce the risk of injury, enhance athletic performance and boost efficiency when you’re running or working out.
By ‘warming up’ and increasing the flow of blood to your muscles, you’ll be less vulnerable to stretches, tears, and soreness.
You’ll also increase your body temperature and heart rate, better preparing your body for cardiovascular exercise. Typical warm-up activities include marching, light jogging, and slow cycling.
How Does Exercising Help You In Your Weight Loss Journey?
If you’d prefer to lose weight naturally without undergoing invasive procedures such as gastric sleeve surgery, there’s no substitute for the classic combo of a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise.
By exercising regularly, you can not only boost your metabolism but also increase the number of calories your body burns each day. Exercising can help you to increase and maintain lean body mass whilst boosting the efficacy of a focused diet plan.
By ensuring that you always incorporate warm-up and cool-down activities into your daily exercise plan, you’ll not only reduce the risk of suffering an injury when working out, but you should also be able to reach your target weight more easily.
Why Should You Also Cool Down After Your Workouts?
‘Cooling down’ after exercise is equally important if you want to get the most out of your workouts and avoid potential injury. Common cool-down exercises include stretching, light jogging, and walking. Cooling down not only helps to ease your heart and breathing rates back to normal, but also reduces the stress on your muscles and prevents your blood pressure from crashing after a heavy workout.
How Does It Help You To Prevent Injury?
Whereas cooling down enables your muscles to return to their optimal length without cramping and soreness, warming up primes and stretches your muscles ahead of intensive exercise.
Muscles that have been warmed up are less likely to tear or cramp when they’re stretched to near-capacity, while warm-up activities also aid better muscle and joint mobility – warming up also prepares your cardiovascular system for a workout, reducing potential stress on the heart when you’re exercising.