Think of your muscles like rubber bands – If you spend your entire day hunched over a keyboard at a desk, those rubber bands have gone almost completely unused. Now, combine this lack of movement with some cold winter weather. Your rubber bands are now EXTRA tight and constricted. Then, rock up to training and immediately start lifting heavy weights or sprinting super fast – those cold, unstretched rubber bands get pulled apart very quickly and will snap. #Fail!
Getting hurt sucks right? We all have goals and things we want to achieve like losing weight, toning up or building muscle. But to accomplish these things would be pretty tough to do, lying on a couch with a pulled hamstring or a rolled ankle. The most important thing you can do when working out is warming up AND cooling down properly. The list of benefits for cool downs is just as extensive as warming up, and they are still very important. The main benefit a cool down is going to bring, is continuing the removal of waste and lactic acid from the muscles that were just worked.
A dynamic warm up (opposite to holding a static stretch – e.g leg swings, arm swings, body weight squats, lunges, star jumps) would be your ideal warm up.
A cool downs aim is to decrease the intensity of the aerobic session and to return the body to a state of rest. Doing some light movements like jogging at a slow pace will help prevent your muscles from tightening up and becoming sore, and may also help prevent injuries.
WARM UP BENEFITS 😀
- Making your muscles loose, active, warm and prepares you mentally for action
- Helps activate your CNS (Central Nervous System)
- Improves blood circulation which will help you perform well
- Maximum flexibility which improves FORM!
COOL DOWN BENEFITS 😀
- Allows the body to return to resting, or near resting levels for HR (Heart Rate)
- Allows the body to return to near resting blood pressure levels
- Allows the blood flow to return back to the heart, brain and organs
- Lowers the chance of lactic acid build up which may cause discomfort after exercise