Fitness and Workout Routines


Workouts – Warming Up and Cooling Down

Don’t start until you are warm enough

Put simply, if you don’t warm up before exercise you run the risk of injuring yourself.

A warm up pushes up your core temperature, and then stretching makes muscles soft and pliable and thus less easily injured once the exercise begins.

The warm up also nudges up your heart rate and gets blood flowing to increase delivery of oxygen and nutrients so that when you take off; the fuel is there to keep you going.

In addition, warming up focuses your mind for the task in hand making you review your program and reset your goals.

OK, so all I do is a twenty minute walk, do I have to warm up for that?

It’s always a good idea to walk on the spot to warm muscles, then stretch at least calf and hamstring before you begin. Even a short walk is exercise and your legs will feel ‘lighter’ if you do this.

Also, the act of thinking about your walk and thus re-stating your aims will make the walk ‘special’ letting you to see it as exercise.

Use between five and ten minutes for warm up. First, do some walking, jogging or general movement to get started.

Now stretch your arms, torso and other muscles, gently at first, before you stretch the muscles you will use in your exercise. When you stretch, remember to stand still and hold each stretch for ten or more seconds.

Now increase the pace and begin to feel your heart beating and your body warming. Stretch again and you should be ready.

Remember that your warm up reflects the type of sport you are doing!

As well as warming up, take five minutes to cool down, too. Cooling down gently slows the heart rate which helps remove toxins from muscles and allows the core temperature to slowly cool. Including stretching prevents soreness and keeps joints and muscles working well.

At the end of your exercise, cool down by doing the warm up in reverse. Start to slow and then stretch. Now slow the exercise level right down and stretch again.

If you read this and thought: “I’m not going to bother with all that.” Think again.

Warming up and cooling down is important, if you can’t do the time in full then at least do some warm up before you start and a quick cool down at the end.

A sports injury can stop an athlete exercising for a short time but it could put you off exercise for life. Don’t let that happen for the sake of a few minutes!

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