WARMING UP AND COOLING DOWN: ARE THEY WORTH IT? Posted on 23 May 20215 November 2021 by GymEasy We all know we should warm up and cool down, but when we’re pressed for time, there’s a good chance we skip these workout basics. Need some motivation/ ideas to include these in your workout? Here is some key information about the how and why of warming up and cooling down. Benefits of a proper warm-up: Increased temperature – by warming your muscle tissue, you increase muscle elasticity and range of motion, reducing the risk of strains and pulls. In addition, oxygen in warm blood becomes more readily available to muscle tissue. Hormone production – as you warm-up, your body begins producing hormones like epinephrine, endorphins, growth hormone and testosterone, all of which increase the energy available for your workout. Blood vessels dilate – As your blood vessels get bigger, your heart doesn’t have to work so hard to deliver blood, and you have less risk of high blood pressure during exercise. Mental preparation – The warm-up is a good time clear the mind and increase focus. How to warm-up: Generally speaking, a warm up should take around 10 minutes. Hop on to your favourite cardio machine for 5 minutes, followed by some stretches – here are some tips for a good safe stretch; Never force a stretch. Never bounce on a stretch. Stretch a muscle until you feel tension, not pain. Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds. Stretch each major muscle group. Don’t stretch long enough for your heart rate to return to a resting rate. Cool-down Cooling down is a great way to prevent injury and also let your muscles relax after an intense workout. This means that you’ll be able to come back and train sooner, so that you can hit your goals much quicker! Once you have finished any form of exercise, you should gradually allow your heart rate and breathing to lower to a comfortable level, where talking can be performed with ease. Benefits of a proper cool-down: Helps remove lactic acid – this is a waste product in the muscle which can make you feel stiff & sore. Reduces the chances of dizziness or fainting – as a result of blood pooling in one place. When you finish exercising and just stand around, blood pools in your legs – so less blood is able to return to your heart. This can lead to reduced blood pressure and dizziness. Cooling down by running slowly or walking will keep blood circulating back to your heart. Reduces the level of adrenaline in the blood – this will help to calm the body down, so that you feel more relaxed. How to cool-down: A cool down is essentially the opposite of warm-up, so again using your favourite piece of cardio equipment aim to complete around 5 minutes, followed by stretches of each major muscle group. Breathe comfortably, with deep breathes through your nose, and out via your mouth. If you need any more help on warming up and cooling down, please don’t hesitate to speak to a member of the easyGym team.