Warming up and cooling down are both important parts of any workout. People want to get to the meat of the workout, skipping these necessary parts.
The warmup gets the muscles warm and pliable, making them ready for a complete workout. It also helps focus the mind on the work that’s to come. Blood flow is increased to the muscles and other parts of the body.
Tailor the warmup to the activity you’re about to undertake. Do the warmup close to the time you’ll be engaging in the activity so your body doesn’t cool off before you begin.
The cooldown helps your heart settle down. It gives the lactic acid from the workout a chance to clear out a bit. If your head is above your heart during the main workout, the blood is pushed to the lower body. Cooling down allows the blood to return to other parts of the body, reducing lightheadedness after exercise.
Listen as Dr. Brian Parr joins Melanie Cole, MS, to discuss the importance of warming up and cooling down.