If you’re in the process of implementing a new and rigorous fitness plan, there’s one fitness tip that you absolutely cannot do without. This is to never skip out on structured warm-up and cool-down routines. A lot of people make the mistake of leaving these incredibly important elements out of their workout plans. Without them, however, you face the risk of physical injury, and certain injuries have the potential to derail your fitness plan entirely.
Why Warm-Ups Are So Important And What They Entail
Warm-ups prepare your body for the challenges that it will face as your activity levels dramatically increase. A good warm-up involves several minutes of moderate, cardiovascular exercise for increasing your heart rate and for effectively heating all of the major muscle groups. Once your heart rate has increased, you should lightly stretch the various muscles that you’ll be targeting in your workout until your body is sufficiently loose for accommodating a much broader and far more challenging range of motion.
How To Cool Your Body Down
When you’re done with your physical conditioning, avoid bringing your body to an immediate standstill, especially if you’ve been doing rigorous cardiovascular exercise like running or cycling. It’s far better to gradually taper your movements until your heart rate and respiratory rate have returned to normal. You also want to engage in a few deep stretches, given that your body will be warm and limber enough to accommodate these movements. Cooling down properly will minimize post-workout soreness and prevent you from sustaining minor injuries like pulled muscles, strains and sprains.