When people want to keep fit they tend to rush into it without doing the proper preparation. A common component of effective fitness training is the warm up and cooling down routine. This is an essential component that many people forget to do. Then, they wonder why they are getting muscle and tendon strains. If you do not warm up and cool down during exercise you should introduce these routines into your fitness program.
The warm up session is to prepare your body both physically and mentally for the physical activity you are about to do. By doing this preparation you will improve the output and performance of your body. You will also reduce your risk of having an injury. The cooling down session is as important as the warm up. You do the cooling down at the end of your exercise routine. This helps with returning your body to a relaxed state and similar to the state your body was in before you started the exercise.
It is important that you perform a warm up and cool down correctly to prepare and recover your body as effectively as possible. An effective warm up session will prepare your body as follows:
It will increase the rate of oxygen in your blood by pumping your heart and lungs.
It will increase your body temperature. Cold muscles are more prone to tears and injuries.
Makes your joints more supple and flexible by oiling the joints
Stretches your ligaments and connective tissue.
Invigorates your muscle nerves resulting in more responsive and efficient motion of the body.
A good warm up session does not need to take up a lot of time. Aim for about 5 to 10 minutes to warm up. If you are doing a longer more intensive exercise session then extend the length of time that you warm up and cool down.Your warm up session should focus on the following areas:
Trunk or torso
Ankles and hips
After your exercise workout you should begin your cooling down session. The cool down should last the same time as your warm up. This on average should be 5 to 10 minutes. If it has been a long intensive workout then the cool down session should be extended to around 15 to 20 minutes. During the session focus mostly on the muscle groups that were used during the exercise activity. By incorporating these in to your fitness program you will not only feel better you will also perform better.