How to warm up, cool down
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.