Proper Warm Up & Cool Down Techniques
If you have the urge to just get in and get out of your exercise routine as quickly as possible, it’s important to take a few minutes to add on a proper warm up and cool down. According to the Mayo Clinic, warm ups are important because they “prepare your body for aerobic activity. A warm-up gradually revs up your cardiovascular system by raising your body temperature and increasing blood flow to your muscles. Warming up may also help reduce muscle soreness and lessen your risk of injury.” Additionally, cool downs “allow for a gradual recovery of pre-exercise heart rate and blood pressure. Cooling down may be most important for competitive endurance athletes, such as marathoners, because it helps regulate blood flow.”
Now that we’ve established how important warm ups and cool downs are, here are some ideas from the NHS to incorporate into your daily workout.
● March in place for three minutes. Be sure to pump your arms with your steps and lift your knees.
● Knee lifts. Alternately lift your knees to the opposite hands while keeping your core engaged and your back straight. If you can, aim for 30 knee lifts in 30 seconds.
● Shoulder rolls. While marching in place, let your arms hang loose at your sides. Roll your shoulders forward five times, then backwards five times. Aim for two sets of 10 repetitions.
● Gradually reduce the intensity of your workout. For example, if you’ve been running, reduce your speed and walk for a bit. “Abruptly stopping intense exercise can cause blood to pool in the lower extremities, which can lead to dizziness and even fainting post-workout.”
● Stretch. Stretching is really important for your muscles because “a regular routine of static stretching to address tissue length can help to increase flexibility, enhance joint range of motion, and even improve posture.” A fun way to incorporate stretching into your routine is to finish with some light yoga. There are lots of different styles so you can find one that suits you and your personal fitness level.
● Give it a roll. Consider utilizing a foam roller or tennis balls do reduce tension in any tight muscle areas. This can “can address any tight areas of the body, helping to relieve tension, improve mobility, increase blood flow, and reduce stress.”
Think of your body like a machine: giving it the chance to warm up and cool down can help optimize its functionality. These transitions can help boost your fitness and enable you to continue living your best life as you strive towards your health and fitness goals, because taking a few extra minutes to prepare for and relax from your workout can make all the difference when it comes to your body’s overall health. Happy exercising!
Disclaimer: Vemma Nutrition Company recommends following a healthy approach to weight loss by consulting with your physician or healthcare provider prior starting any new exercise or diet plan.
 Staff, Mayo Clinic. “The Right Way to Warm up and Cool Down.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 10 Aug. 2016, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20045517.
 “How to Warm up before Exercising.” NHS Choices, NHS, 21 Dec. 2015, www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/how-to-warm-up-before-exercising/.
 Matthews, Jessica. “You're Skipping the Most Important Part of a Workout.” Shape Magazine, Shape Magazine, 20 Jan. 2014, www.shape.com/blogs/working-it-out/most-effective-cool-down.
 Matthews, Jessica.
 Matthews, Jessica.