Other than baking bread and obsessive cleaning, a lot of people are taking advantage of their time at home to exercise. And why not? It’s the perfect way to destress and get fit! It can burn all those extra calories from banana bread, too if you follow the basic workout rule that is, warming up and cooling down.
Before trying out the latest fitness challenges that boost weight loss (amongst other things), it’s best to develop the fundamentals of exercise first: The Warming Up and Cooling Down. These are two-phase that people often forget to incorporate into or intentionally leave out of their routine. However, these steps are just as, or even more, important than the actual bouts of exercise.
But, if you do follow the rule of Warming Up and Cooling Down, Cheers and Keep it Up Buddy. 🙂
Let’s look at what a proper Warming Up and Cooling Down does to your body…
The Science Behind Warming Up and Cooling Down When Exercising
Any self-respecting athlete or fitness trainer will tell you that 5-10 minutes of warming up is crucial to exercise. Even something as simple as jogging on the spot is better than sprint straightaway.
This is not just a simple case of ‘waking up’ your muscles, although that’s the simplest way of explaining it. Science Daily explains that muscles require more oxygen than normal while performing physical activity. And jogging before a sprint — or warming up before exercise — allows the blood vessels to expand. This is why Gala Bingo emphasises the need to get the ‘blood pumping.’ Blood circulation is responsible for the delivery of nutrients to the different parts of the body, including the muscles.
When you warm up and the blood vessels expand, there’s more room for the blood to circulate freely and deliver nutrients, including oxygen, more efficiently to the muscles.
It’s best to think of oxygen as fuel for your muscles. And warming up is the process of getting into gear so that you can go full speed. Additionally, taking a few minutes to move around prepares your mindset for the workout too!
However, there is a right and wrong way to warm up. Studies show that it’s best to leave static stretches for later and opt for dynamic movement before exercise instead. This ensures that muscles are more pliable for later.
Choose dynamic exercises that prepare the right kind of muscles for your workout. For example, jogging in place is the perfect way to prepare your legs for a run, while shoulder swings can be great for an upper-body exercise.
After every workout comes the best part — cooling down. This is where static stretches come in, or those yummy moves that you have to hold for 3-5 counts. Some of these might produce a bit of discomfort, but that’s because you’re releasing some built-up tension in the muscles.
In contrast to the warm-up phase, cooling down is key to bringing the heart rate down. It means it’s the best time to catch your breath! If you don’t take time to cool down, however, the body might maintain an overexcited state by keeping your stress levels elevated. This produces muscle soreness and prevents proper muscle recovery.
The bottom line is that you should never skip the Warming Up and Cooling Down phases of your routine. Dynamic stretches before a workout prepare the muscles for challenging moves, making the workout count. On the other hand, static stretches after all your hard work are key to adequate recovery and lets you see some noticeable gains.
So this was it for today. I hope you have enjoyed reading about the Science Behind Warming Up and Cooling Down. Let me know your thoughts in the comment below.
Have a Good Day! 😇