The Importance of Warming Up and Cooling Down After Exercise
Exercise can often feel like a chore, since it’s something we need to keep ourselves healthy. Like with most other “chores,” people like to get their exercise over with as soon as possible. Unfortunately, in our haste to get exercise over with quickly, most of us forget to warm-up and cool down, both before and after exercising. However, these simple exercises can help prevent serious sports related injuries like shin splints or Runner’s knee.
- Warming up prior to a workout is a great way to awaken your muscles, and help prepare you for the physical demands of your exercise routine. Additionally, taking time to warm up will help raise your heart rate gradually, get your blood flowing, and increase your flexibility. It is usually a good idea to do a warming up exercise that will prepare you for what exercise you are about to pursue. For example, if you are preparing to go for a long run, walk briskly for about 5 to 10 minutes to prepare your body.
- Cooling down. We’ve all been in this type of situation before; you have just finished a vigorous exercise, are feeling tired, and want to stop exercising abruptly. However, skipping a proper cool down exercise can make one feel dizzy and out-of-breath. Instead, gradually decrease your activity level, and give your body a chance to come down from the exercise you were doing. Cooling down can also help reduce your muscle soreness, gradually reduce your heart rate, and help your blood circulation. Make sure that the cool down exercise portion is far less strenuous than the rest of your workout. For example, if you are running, walk quickly during your cool down. This will help restore your body to its pre-workout state.
Much like exercise itself, warming up and cooling down is part of a healthy lifestyle, and also great way to prevent serious injury!
Sports Medicine in Napa and Vacaville
To find out more about injury prevention or starting an exercise regimen that’s right for you, contact us today. You can reach our Sports Medicine and Orthopedic offices at 707.258.2547 in Napa or 707.446.6206 in Vacaville. We look forward to hearing from you soon!