Warm-up & Cool down
Written By: Carmelo Cimato
Exercise is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle, but can lead to injury if completed too intensely or incorrectly. Completing a proper warm-up and cooldown allows the body to adjust to the initiation and cessation of exercise.
Purpose of a Warm-up:
- Allows blood to be properly pumped to muscles for proper energy supply and oxygenation
- Allows for gradual ramp up of heart rate and blood pressure
- Increases internal core temperature for improved muscle elasticity
- Potential decreased likelihood of injury and D.O.M.S (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)
Purpose of a Cooldown:
- Prevents pooling of blood in the extremities
- Allows for gradual decrease of heart rate and blood pressure back to baseline levels
- A great time to incorporate a stretching regimen into your workout routine
How to properly conduct a warm-up:
- Focus on a warm-up that emphasizes larger muscle group activation. Cardiovascular exercises such as walking on a treadmill, riding an exercise bike or elliptical are great examples of dynamic warm-ups that allow for a gradual ramp-up in vitals for exercise. Intensity of the warm-up should be around a 4-6/10 in terms of difficulty.
How to properly conduct a cooldown:
- Much like a warm-up, a cooldown exercise should allow for the body to gradually adjust vitals. Cooldown exercises should be sub-maximal intensity and be around 40-50% of max exertion The same cardio equipment that can be utilized for a warm-up are also great for a cooldown! If you have the extra time after your cardio cooldown, a comprehensive stretching regimen is also a great way to help return your vitals back to baseline.
Contact your local physical therapist at one of our great clinics to find out more about different ways to effectively warm-up and cooldown while exercising!