Yes! People exercise for many reasons with a few being health, weight loss, weight management and pleasure. Whatever your reason is for exercise, you want to get the maximum benefit out of the time you spend exercising. You will not get the most out of your efforts without warming up and cooling down.
The Role of the Warm Up.
The stretching and warm up exercises you do before you start your full workout let you prepare your muscles and body for the changes that take place during strenuous activity. Exercising requires more fluids, more nutrients to the cells, more oxygen, a higher heart rate and an increase in respiration.
You should drink plenty of water about 20 minutes before you plan to exercise. You’ll lose water during your exercising so proper hydration before you start will help you prevent muscle cramps due to dehydration. Proper fluid levels before during and after exercising will let your body more efficiently deliver the oxygen and nutrients it needs.
Slowly stretching the muscles you’ll be using will loosen the muscles you’ll be using, loosen up the joints involved, prepares the nervous system for exercise and heightens your mental awareness and focus. Slowly stretch and hold your position for about 20 seconds before relaxing. Do not bounce or do a quick stretch and release because these resemble muscle contractions and you can actually cause damage to muscles or joints that aren’t naturally lubricated yet.
The kind of warm up you do should be influenced by the exercises you will be doing. Runners my do twists and extensions in place. Slow riding on a stationary bicycle may be another warm up method in addition to the twisting. Martial art participants may go through the movements used in slow motion to let the body remember and get acclimated to the moves. Weight lifters may start out doing the full number of reps they intend to do during their session but at half the weight that will be used during the peak. A second set of reps may be done at 80 percent of the full workout weight but only 2-3 reps. A third set at 90 percent with 2-3 reps will complete the warm up. Rest for about 30 seconds then do your full workout with the full weight load and your body will experience less stress and you’ll get the maximum benefit out of the workout.
Warming up before you exercise helps your body function at its best which means you burn the most calories and have a reduced risk of injury.
The Role of the Cool Down.
The cool down helps your body return to its normal blood flow, oxygen levels and heart rate to reduce the risk of muscle cramps or a heart attack.
Drink more water after you exercise. Water will help the body cool itself and help eliminate toxins.
Stretch your core muscles plus the muscle groups used during your exercise and hold each position for at least 60 seconds during your cool down. This stretching session while your muscles are heated helps cool them and increases your flexibility. Do not forget to stretch you neck while doing your warm up and cool down. You may not realize it but these muscles will be tensed during your exercise and they deserve the same stretching attention as every other muscle group.
Your cool down stretches also give your mind and body a chance to relax from their focused and stressed states to their normal working levels. You may find these cool down stretches as a way to relieve your tired mind and body so you can more fully enjoy the workout you just completed.
Getting the most that you can out of your exercise program you’ve chosen is your goal and warming up before exercising and cooling down after that exercise will help you get the most benefit for the time spent which should be the most rewarding and pleasurable.
If you really want to take control of your exercise program to burn fat and gain muscle, I recommend the book Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle written by Tom Venuto who is a natural body builder, certified personal trainer, certified strength and conditioning specialist and nutritionist.Disclosure of Material Connection
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