Do you want to begin a workout session to be in better shape and live a healthier lifestyle? Irrespective of the activity you engage in or how busy your calendar is, it is advisable to always warm up before a workout and cool down after it.
It’s not only the main session of your workout that’s important, the processes before and after a workout are also important. Therefore, people who ignore them may be hurting their bodies inadvertently.
Importance of Warming Up
Exercises are performed at a reduced intensity and slower pace during a warm-up and a cool-down, which enhances athletic performance, reduces injury risk and facilitates recovery. Your sports performance will benefit from warming up in the following ways:
- Increased Oxygen Efficiency – When you exercise to warm up, your blood releases oxygen more quickly and at a greater temperature. When exercising, your muscles require more oxygen, so it’s critical to increase the oxygen’s availability through a warm-up activity.
- Mental Readiness – When you warm up, your mind will start to concentrate on your body. This attention will continue during your training session to assist you in developing your technique, coordination, and proficiency.
- Faster Muscle Contraction/Relaxation – Physical exercise helps you warm up by increasing body temperature, which enhances nerve conduction and muscle metabolism. What happens in the end? Your muscles will function effectively!
- Injury prevention – By easing your joints and increasing blood flow to your muscles, warming up helps you avoid injuries since your muscles are less likely to rip, tear, or twist during exercise. Stretching also aids in preparing your muscles for the upcoming physical activity.
- Increased Blood Flow – By warming up for 10 minutes with low-intensity activity, you can increase the amount of blood that reaches your skeletal muscles and widen your blood capillaries. One of the best things you can do to prepare your muscles for a workout is to increase your blood flow since your blood transports the oxygen required for your muscles to perform.
Importance of Cooling Down
The importance of cooling down after an exercise is to gradually return your heart rate and blood pressure to the level they were at before you started exercising. Your heart rate has been pumping considerably more vigorously than it normally would during your workout, so it’s crucial to gradually slow it down rather than halting all movement at once. Cooling down also aids in blood flow regulation, which is crucial for athletes who engage in endurance sports like long-distance running.
- Recovery – Lactic acid accumulates in your system after a vigorous workout, and it takes time for your body to get rid of it. Stretching and other cooling-down exercises can assist in the release and removal of lactic acid, hastening your body’s post-workout recuperation.
- Lowering DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) – While some degree of muscle soreness is normal after exercising, a lot of DOMS is extremely uncomfortable and can discourage you from working out again. According to recent research, cycling at a moderate intensity after strength training reduces DOMS. It keeps you more comfortable and enables your body to recover before your next session by reducing excessive muscular soreness after working out.
Warming up enables you to gradually raise your breathing and heart rate to one that can accommodate the demands of your workout. Without initially warming up, you put undue strain on your heart and lungs when you begin an intense workout.
Next time you believe you can’t spare the extra 10 minutes to cool down after running, consider the impact it will have on your body. When you consider that you are preventing your body from physical harm, enhancing your performance, and facilitating your post-workout recovery, those 10 minutes would certainly seem worthwhile.