4/19/2013

WARM-UP AND COOL-DOWN…DO I REALLY NEED THESE?


I often stress to my client’s the importance of arriving early to class and the importance of joining in the cool-down exercises. Warm-up and cool-down exercises are essential to any fitness program. The warm-up, which is performed at the beginning of the workout, prepares the body and mind for exercise. It also helps to prevent injury. The time duration for a warm-up routine depends on the entire duration of the program. For a one hour aerobic session, 15 minutes warm-up is usually advised. 

Purpose of the warm-up includes: 
  • It helps increase the body temperature, making the muscles more flexible and receptive to strenuous activity 
  • It gets blood flowing to the muscles 
  • Lubricates the joints 
  • Prepares the muscles and joints for more intense activity 
  • A warm-up should increase the heart rate slightly, but not to the level experienced during the workout. 
The cool-down period is at the end of the workout. Every exercise session should be followed by a cool-down that gradually decreases the heart rate and stretches all the muscles worked in the exercise session. 

Purpose of the cool-down includes: 
  • It gradually decreases the heart rate 
  • Gradually decreased the body temperature 
  • Prevents a sudden stop and prevents blood pooling. If your body stops suddenly after an intense workout, this may cause your blood to pool, causing dizziness, nausea or cramping. 
  • It stretches the muscles for flexibility as well as to prevent cramping or future injury. 
Now you know the importance of the warm-up and cool-down sessions. Have fun exercising at your next class! 

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