Hello friends! We all knew that we should warm up and down before and after sport, but how do we do so properly actually? So before you start your workout routine or hit the running trails, it is important that you do brief warmup first. Not to forget that it is also important to ensure you also do some cooling down after your workout session. Here are some of the reasons why warming up and cooling down is important:
Warming up dilates blood vessels to ensure our muscles are supplied with enough oxygen. Besides raising muscle temperature, this also helps raise our heartbeat rate slowly in order to minimize stress on our heart. Overall, warming up is an important step in prepping our body to prevent any injuries.
A sudden stop right after our routine would cause light-headedness because of a rapid drop of heart rate and blood pressure. Cooling down will keep blood flowing throughout the body and some stretching may also help reduce the buildup of lactic acid which may lead to muscle stiffness and cramping.
Next, let us guide you on some tips on warming up and cooling down:
Depending on the intensity of the activity, you should warm up for about 5-10 minutes.
Begin by doing a dynamic warmup where you do your planned activity at a low, slow pace and then gradually increase in speed and intensity.
Use your entire body. Doing some bent-knee push-ups or walking may suffice.
Similar to warming up, you generally continue your activity for about 5 minutes or so but at a reduced pace and intensity. Walking for a few minutes is a great example to help slow down your heartbeat rate (below 120 beats per minute).
Stretching on both sides of your body is important. Hold each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds and yes, the stretch should be strong but not painful.
Slow breathing is also important. While stretching, inhale slow and steadily as you stretch and hold your breath while holding the stretch. And then exhale slowly as you loosen your stretch.