Health Watch: Warm up, cool down

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Follow these tips from Life Fitness and learn to efficiently incorporate warm-ups and cool-downs into your regular exercise.

Always warm up before you exercise. A warm-up means a lower intensity version of the physical activity you are about to do. The greater your intensity, the longer the warm-up should be.


- Help get your blood circulating and lubricate your joints.

- Increase delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles.

- Prepare your heart for activity, helping avoid a rapid increase in blood pressure.

Always cool down after you exercise. A proper cool-down will help your heart rate gradually return to normal.

First, gradually slow your intensity for several minutes. Then, stretch –– the best time is right after your initial slow-down since your muscles are still warm. Try holding stretches for at least 20 seconds.


- Help avoid fainting or dizziness, which can result from blood pooling in the large muscles of the legs after vigorous activity.

- Reduce the immediate post-exercise tendency for muscle spasm, cramping and stiffness.

Did You Know?

While everyone experiences stress at times, a prolonged bout of it can affect your health and ability to cope with life. -- CDC

Health Tip: Buy low-sodium options

Most canned vegetables, soups and sauces have added sodium, which enhances taste and texture and acts as a preservative. We need some sodium, but we often consume much more than the recommended 2,300 milligrams a day. But don't cross them off your shopping list entirely. Instead, look for "reduced" or "low sodium" on labels.


Number to Know

12: In 2010, 94 percent of Lyme disease cases were reported from 12 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin. -- CDC

Children’s Health: No movie smoking, please

Studies have shown that depictions of smoking in movies cause adolescents to begin smoking, and the authors of a recent study say requiring an R rating for movie smoking would substantially reduce adolescent smoking. Roughly 60 percent of teens’ movie smoking exposure comes from PG-13 and other youth-rated movies.

-- American Academy of Pediatrics

Senior Health: Outdoors has benefits

Many studies have indicated the health benefits of spending time outdoors. In fact, a 2008 study at the University of Michigan found people had memory performance and attention spans improve by 20 percent after just one hour spent outside. The University of Kansas reported a 50 percent boost in creativity after a few days spent in nature. To get all the benefits of reducing stress and improving brain function, spend some more of your time in the beautiful outdoors.


GateHouse News Service