Updated: Jul 3, 2021
Many of us begin our journey neglecting two significant sections that are highly necessary for our workouts—the warm-up and cool-down. Unfortunately, we step into this mindset of ignoring the need for it. Believe it or not, our warm-ups and cool-downs have so many benefits. Both sections provide protection and security for our bodies when performing any workout.
Why Warm-up & Cool Down? If I don't, what's the big deal?
Both sections both serve similar purposes and benefits.
A warm-up is the preparation or introduction stage performed before our actual workout. The warm-up can consist of light cardio and dynamic stretches. Depending on your training segment, the warm-up can mimic what you're going to perform. Warm-ups are usually performed for about 5 to 12 mins.
Performing a good warm-up helps the blood flow throughout the body and improves our Cardiorespiratory System. In addition, this introduction stage helps prevents premature fatigue and lactic acid build-up. Lactic Acid build-up results in our bodies not having the available oxygen to break down glucose and glycogen. During the warm-up, our body temperature rises. This causes the blood cells to release oxygen more rapidly to the muscles, which results in less injury. In addition, the muscle begins to become more "stretchy," making it difficult for the muscle to tear. Last but not least, the warm-up can improve our physical-related skills: agility, balance, coordination, reaction speed, and time.
A cool-down is the last stage performed after the actual workout. This stage allows us to gather ourselves, catch our breath, and recover after your training. The cool-down can consist of both dynamic and static stretching, mainly static stretching. Those exercises are usually performed between 5 to 7 minutes.
Achieving a good cool-down leads to minimizing muscle soreness, prevents dizziness and fainting. The cooldown keeps the muscles warm for a while to perform the necessary stretches. The warmer the muscle fibers are, the less they will tear. The cooldown also delays the onset of muscle soreness after activity by reducing lactic acid build-up. In other words, it catches the soreness before it occurs, and it helps prevent muscle cramps. If we don't cool down after our workout, blood pooling flows to our lower extremities, preventing the heart from obtaining oxygen. All in all, cooling our body down leads the heart to be comprised and stress.
Be kind to your body by preparing it before you begin your workout and cooling it down afterward. Trust me; your body will thank you!