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Warm Up Cool Down

Timeless Fitness Tips...

Warming Up is Essential

Most people want to skip their warm-up and get right into their exercise. While this is a common sentiment, this is also dangerous.

Warm Up Stretch

Before you start to exercise, most of the body's blood is circulating through the organs, glands, heart, intestines, and so forth. When you begin to exercise, the blood is sent away from these areas to the muscles to supply them with nutrients and oxygen. If you do not warm up, the body is not ready and damage can occur to the heart and muscles.

A good warm-up consists of slow, deliberate, rhythmic movements -- such as very light bend-and-back movements for waist, arms, legs, and more. Keep it up for five minutes to increase your blood flow gradually. This is called warm-up because it actually makes your muscles warm!

It's important to begin exercise slowly, bringing the heart rate up from its resting heart rate to its target heart rate. A warm-up should last from 15 to 30 minutes. The most common amount of time is 20 minutes. It does seem rather long when you're new to exercise, but this is probably when you require it the most!

The Cool Down

Generally speaking, cooling down simply means you generally continue your workout session, but at a slower pace and reduced intensity.

Cool down on treadmill

Examples of The Cool Down Activities

  • After a brisk walk, walk slowly for five to 10 minutes.
  • After a run, walk briskly for five to 10 minutes.
  • After biking, spin on your bicycle at higher revolutions per minute (around 100) as you finish your exercise.
  • After swimming, swim some leisure laps for five to 10 minutes, varying your strokes.

How Long Should You Cool Down?

If you work out for less than one hour, a 15-minute cool-down period will be sufficient. A workout of longer than one hour requires a cool-down period of 30 minutes or more.