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Warming Up and Cooling Down

The obvious reason for preparing your body for a workout and then gradually cooling down afterward is injury prevention. I mean we don’t want to cut our workout short just for lack of preparation, nor do we want to be paying for it for days afterward

. Yet there are other reasons why both a warm up and cool down is an important consideration when planning your workout.

Both help create better flexibility, enhance strength development and improve circulation.

The Warm Up:

The basic idea behind warming the body up before exercise is twofold. Firstly by gradually increasing your heart rate you are ensuring that your heart and lungs are effectively working together to pump enough oxygen around your body. This oxygen is needed to fuel your muscles and have them working at their optimal capacity. Secondly; by warming up the different muscles you are actually making them more flexible and pliant, at the same time as stimulating mobility in your joints. This will help prepare your body and protect you against injury.

The type of warmup needed will be determined by the type of workout you have planned. For example, if you are going for a long run you should concentrate on warming up your legs with a few stretches and the start off gradually with a power walk, then progress into a gentle jog before giving it 100%.

If you are going to do a targeted weights or floor session, it is a good idea to get your heart rate up first. You can do this easily with some skipping, rowing or light jogging. Then take your focus to stretching and preparing the areas you plan to work on.

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