Warm up and cool down exercises are very crucial and should be incorporated with any exercise program. You should perform at least 10 minutes warm up exercises such as light cardio exercises and 10 minutes cool down like stretching. Warm-up and cool-down should be performed at around 50% of stimulus intensity. Warm-up and cool-down may perform 5-15 minutes; it again depends on fitness level and your age.
The warm up exercises are normally performed before workout session or any sports activities. Warm up prepare your body for exercise and prevent injuries. The cool down take your body pre exercise state.
Mobility exercise is the perfect form of warm-up. It warms up your muscles and joints and makes them ready for exercise. It stimulates muscles and nervous system, and enhances their ability to produce strength and power by making strong signal between muscles and nervous system. Warm up exercises increase joint range of motion and overall performance.
Stiff muscles are more susceptible to get injured so you should perform warm up to reduce muscle stiffness.
Stretching is a perfect cool down and is a good idea to perform after workout. Stretching relax muscles and nervous system and inhibits their ability to produce strength and power. Muscles and nervous systems are fired up during and after an exercise session, so you need to make them relax to get recovery. Stretching enhance your exercise performance and reduces joints and soft tissues injuries.
Warm up benefits:
The warm up gradually increase intensity and prepare your body and mind for more intense exercise
Warm up not only prepare your body and mind, it also makes prepare your muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments for more strenuous workout
Warm up gives your body enough time to adjust to the demands of strenuous exercise
Warm up exercises can enhance your performance and you get best result
The warm up is generally enhance the temperature of the body to make the muscles supple and loose , so they have better capability to withstand vigorous exercise without getting any injuries. Warm up increase blood flow to throughout the body.
Reduces the risk of injuries
Reduces muscle and joints stiffness
Warm up increase muscle temperature, so warmed up contract and relax more efficiently. This can enhances strength and power of muscles. Increasing muscle temperature helps to reduce muscle stiffness
Warm up exercises increases blood flow which further delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the working muscles.
Warm up Enhances utilization of oxygen, as haemoglobin releases oxygen better at high muscle temperature.
Enhances metabolism and increases heart rate
Warm up exercises should be done approximately 50% of your maximum heart rate.
Warm up exercises utilizes sugar for fuel. Once sugar is used up by body, real workout has to work stored fat for energy. So you can understand the importance of warm up exercises.
Warm up activities should be intense enough to increase temperature of the body; it should not lead to fatigue.
Types of warm up:
The general warm up and sport specific warm up
The general warm up such as: single joint exercise and multiple joints exercises
Single joint exercise- shoulder abduction/adduction/rotation, elbow flexion/extension
Multiple joint exercises: running, jogging, walking etc
Sport specific warm up:
Perform the same activity that will be performed during sport but make sure intensity should be low
Warm up should perform low to moderate intensity level
Warm up at your fitness level
Beginners should have longer warm up for better response
1. 10-12 reps before workout
2. Around 50% of workout load (10 RM)
3. 30 seconds to 3 minutes rest before workout session
Cool down allow your body to gradually transition from an exceptional state to a starting resting state
Enhance recovery and repair process, it gradually decrease exercise intensity and bring it to normal resting state. It calms down your raised heart rate and breathing. .
Cool down helps to your body gradually adjust to its resting state and prevent delayed onset of muscles soreness.
It gradually returns heart rate and blood pressure to resting level or pre-exercise level.
After aerobic exercises, heart rate is increase and the blood is pooled in the extremities. Cool down reduces the heart rate slowly and gradually to the normal rage.
It also prevent from pulled blood in the extremities, if you stop exercise suddenly without doing cool down can cause fainting .Blood accumulates in the lower extremities at the end of session. This blood has to go back to lung and heart at the end of session. if you stop exercise suddenly without performing cool down phase, it can pool blood in the lower body and you feel dizziness or fainting. So you should perform cool down to prevent pulling of blood to lower extremities.
The cool down eliminates waste product like lactic acid from your body and help to reduce soreness and stiffness
Types of stretching:
Static stretching and dynamic stretching
Warm up before stretching
Perform stretching gently and slowly
Don’t hold breathe while stretching; breathing should be slow and gentle
Never bounce while stretching, bouncy movement can cause injuries
Don’t stretch to the point of pain, stretch should be to the point of mild discomfort
Stretch involved all muscles group