Warming up before physical activity will prepare you mentally and physically for your chosen activity. Cool-down can help you gradually reduce your heart rate and start the recovery process.
Warm-up increases the heart rate and thus the blood flow, which means that more oxygen reaches the muscles. A warm-up also activates and primers the connections between the nerve and the muscles, which improves movement efficiency. In addition, your range of motion (flexibility) should be increased by dynamic stretching.
How do I warm-up before training?
A warm-up for an easy activity will take around 10 minutes and involve light aerobic exercise and some dynamic stretching movements suitable for the training you will perform and may include:
- brisk walk
- walk up and down stairs
- fast-paced sidestep
- jogging on place
- arm swings
Contrary to many people’s beliefs, there is little evidence that static stretching reduces the risk of injury during exercise or even soreness the next day. But dynamic stretching, incorporated into an aerobic warm-up, is still very popular.
How do I cool down after exercise?
Reduce the intensity of the activity you have accomplished – if you have been jogging, then walk; if you have run, then jog; fast swimming, then easy swimming. When stretching each of the main muscle groups for 10-15 seconds, you will restore the length of muscles and tendons. Then, this will help you gradually reduce your heart rate and start the recovery process.