5 Little Known Benefits of Warming Up & Cooling Down After Exercising
While working out in the gym, I have noticed that many exercisers tend to skip two very important parts of their workout. It is crucial that exercisers starts with a warm-up and ends with a cool-down. As a fitness educator, I educate my clients of why they should include warm-ups and cool-downs in their workouts.
Warm up before vigorous exercise is crucial. Warm-up prepares the heart muscle and circulatory system. When you start physical activity, blood flow is not immediately available to the heart and muscles. A proper warm-up decreases the risk of irregular heartbeats associated with poor coronary circulation. A proper warm-up also improve performance, since it minimizes the premature formation of lactic acid at the start of physical activity. In addition, warming up raises the temperature of the body. For each degree of temperature elevation, the metabolic rate of the cells increases by about 13 percent.
Another reason is warming up helps prevents injuries. Muscle elasticity and the flexibility of the tendons and ligaments are increased. Synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints, is released during easy activity. In general, warm up prepares the body for the increased demand of intense exercise.
Warm-ups activities are movement activities. Stretching is not a warm-up exercise because it does not raise the body temperature. In fact, an exerciser can tear cold muscles by stretching them.
General warm-up involves calisthenics, stretching, and general body movements such as slow jog followed by a light streth.Warm up for about 5-10 minutes depending on the person's fitness level followed by some light stretching.
Specific warm-up, on the other hand, provides a skill rehearsal for the actual activity. Swinging a golf club, throwing a baseball or football are examples of specific warm-up.
I have been working out in a health club setting for almost 10 years. In my experience, I hardly seen anyone do a cool-down activity. Cool down is also as important as a warm-up. After a heavy work-out, it is important to spend 5-10 minutes in a cool down stage. A cool down after the workout is important to promote an effective recovery from physical activity. Some of the benefits of a cool down are listed below:
1. The opposite of a warm-up. Respiration, body temperature,and heart rate are gradually returned to normal, preventing an irregular beat the may be life threatening.
2. During the cool-down stage, the legs help return the blood to your heart. Muscle in the legs acts as a pump to bring blood back to the heart. Suddenly stopping cardiovascular activity causes blood to pool in the legs instead of circulating to the brain. Not enough supply of blood in the brain can cause dizziness or light-headedness.
4. Cool-down can help increase a person's flexibility.
5. Active cool-down also speeds lactate removal from the blood.
There are two parts of a cool-down. First, a person does a light cardiovascular activity such as walking to lower the heart rate, body temperature, etc. Then, static stretching should be followed. Exercisers should stretch all the major muscle groups for at least 10-30 seconds. The stretch should feel a slight discomfort but not feel pain. Stretching at the end of the cool-down can help increase flexibility without causing injury.
Add a warm-up and cool-down to your current exercise regimen and see the difference.
The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any health care program.
Athletics and Winning
Athletics are pretty cut and dry in one regard; the goal to win. Having been in competitive athletics in a prior life I can certainly attest to that. Often however I see something that does not make a lot of sense, the need for society to treat everyone equal and to somehow over do or condemn the competitive aspect. For instance; I question an article I read in Sports Illustrated Women in February of this year about the "Agony of Defeat". The article discussed public humiliation, financial disappointment, and long-term psychological trauma? That is utter bull.
Exercise: How To Keep Your Kids Moovin and Groovin
One out of five American kids is obese and the numbers keep going up. Lack of exercise is one reason for the obesity epidemic and it's a true epidemic that threatens health. In fact, this may be the first generation of kids in history not to outlive their parents because of obesity.
Programming Brief: Exercise Order
One of the fundamental principles of exercise prescription, specifically resistance training, is the principle of exercise order. Which exercises do I do first? Which do I do last? Does exercise order really matter? From personal observations in the weight room, it would seem to many it doesn't matter. However, if you want an effective exercise program you must consider the order of the exercises.
Doing vs. Performing: The Difference Between Exercising and Getting Results
Back when I was young and living on my parents' farm, there always seemed to be plenty of tasks that were reserved for the low man on the totem pole. And you guessed it. That low man was me. Picking up and piling sticks seemed to be one of my dad's favorite tasks for me, and quite frankly, it was one of my least desired jobs to do. Funny how that works. Anyway, every time my dad would tell me to go out and complete one of these undesirable tasks, I would respond with the requisite whining, complaining, and carrying-on that usually comes from a young person who is having to do something he/she doesn't want to do. Nonetheless, I would slump off and begin my task, usually in a half-assed manner. Then I would rush in and tell my dad I had completed my task. He would go out, check it, and 9 times out of 10, he would make me go back and redo, complete, or what-have-you some of aspect of my job. He would always tell me, "It is much easier to do it right the first time." This is a lesson that did not sink in until some years later. Now, however, I fully embrace my father's philosophy, in part, because on a daily basis I see the same issues/attitudes I had as a young person showing up in how people approach their exercise programs.
How to Supercharge Your Energy Levels through Exercise
Your energy levels will depend on several factors, including genetics, nutrition, sleep habits, and emotional stress. Some of these you have no control over But there is one VERY important factor that you do have control over and that is your ability to take part in physical exercise.
Are you in an exercise rut? Do you want to kick your fitness level up a notch and increase your endurance? Would you like to add more intensity to you workout? Interval training is a good way to achieve all of these goals in a safe and systematic manner.Interval training is simply a matter of alternating high intensity exercise and low intensity exercise. It allows one to get the benefits of the high intensity work while giving the body some rest time. It allows one to extend a workout time period and build endurance gradually.Running on a flat surface burns calories and gives your heart and lungs a great cardiovascular workout. Running up hill challenges your muscles, heart, and lungs, burning more calories and providing additional toning. But taking a 30 minute run up hill or on a steeply inclined treadmill would quickly exhaust most of us, or likely force us to stop early. However, running up hill then back down, or up hill then on flat ground would allow for high intensity work counter balanced by intervals of slower periods of active recovery. Interval training burns more calories and pumps more blood than continuous lower intensity exercise because it includes intervals of energy and oxygen-hungry work.Because interval training burns a lot of calories and provides good muscle work, it may help you save time. A pound of feathers weighs the same as a pound of bricks. Likewise, running one mile burns the same number of calories as walking one mile. But walking one mile takes a lot more time. If your goal is calorie burning and toning, and you are short on time, then interval training does more, faster. Just remember that improving cardiovascular health requires aerobic exercise of 30 ? 60 minutes, so don't make all of your workouts quickies, save those for when you're in a rush. Interval training can also be helpful if your goal is to move yourself up to the next level of endurance and fitness. Maybe you have been trying to start a running program, but can't seem to maintain such a demanding exercise. Interval training is, in fact, one of the most effective ways to train the body. Marathoners commonly use this method to train for an up-coming race. A good program is to run for 4 minutes then walk at a good clip for 1 minute, or do a 3/2 interval. Your body will work hard then rest (while remaining active), work hard then rest. Your heart, lungs and muscles will make the transition to running, running farther, or running faster in a safe and productive manner. There are a lot of ways to add intervals to your workout. If you are already a runner add hills or speed segments. If aerobics classes are your genre, add explosive moves like jumps or sprints. Include segments of speed walking in your normal walking routine or take the incline of your treadmill up a little higher at timed intervals.Interval training is productive and can add excitement to your ho-hum exercise routine. Doing interval work in place of your normal routine, once a month, once a week, or once a day, is a good and effective plan. E-mail me if you need suggestions on how to intensify, endure and enjoy. You'll be glad you did.
Benefits of a Good Training Journal
Most of us have trained at one part in our lives. Chances are if you've ever taken your training seriously you've used a training journal or a training log.
Recognize Your Motivation to Exercise
The positive effects of exercise have been documented and reported through every media outlet available. You can probably walk up to anyone on the street and ask them the positive benefits of exercise and they can most likely list them. If everyone knows why we need to exercise, why aren't we? The answers are most likely more complex than we think.
Some Great Ideas on Staying Fit
Physical exercise is something that you need to do on a regular basis. If you're looking for examples of great fitness exercises to try out, you'll find them on our site.
3 Great Weight Loss Exercises
It's a given that effective weight loss is much more then simply going on a "diet". To really lose weight and (hopefully) keep that weight off, you need to add exercise to the equation. For Most people, weight loss exercise means aerobics ? running, jogging, kickboxing or some other type of routine where you get your heart racing for 30 to 45 minutes.
Use an Exercise Training Diary to Keep Your Workouts on Track
A road map is a very handy tool when you're setting out on a long trip. It helps point you in the direction you want to go and can be a lifesaver when you've strayed off course.
Exercising for life ? The magic is in the synergy!
Synergy: the working together of two or more things, people, or organizations, especially when the result is greater than the sum of their individual effects or capabilities
Building those impressively sleek shoulders takes a great deal of raw grind but once you sport a shapely set, you'll quickly be separated from the rest. If you like to wear bikinis or summer dresses that reveal your upper torso, shoulder training is ideal in sporting a sexy physique.
Are You A One-Dimensional Trainer?
Most people are classically biased toward one of the three legs of the fitness triad: progressive resistance training, cardiovascular training or diet/nutrition. How many folks try and lose weight by dieting and dieting alone? A safe bet would be a majority of individuals. Ever wonder why people who lose a lot of bodyweight rapidly still look fat? It's because they are still fat.
Exercise For Any Size
Do you feel that you can barely do any activity at all?
Arthritis Exercise for All Levels
Exercise can be very beneficial for arthritis sufferers, often relieving stiffness in joints, strengthening muscles thereby reducing stress on joints, keeping bone and cartilage tissue strong and healthy, and increasing flexibility. A recommended 30-minute minimum of daily activity is the norm. Before starting any exercise program, it is vital that one speak to their doctor to ensure there are no unseen risks, however you will find that most doctors recommend exercise for their arthritis patients either on their own initiative or when asked.
Basic Abdominal Exercises
If it's six pack abs that you're after, daily abdominal exercises are the key to reaching your goal. There are a variety of effective abdominal exercises that you can try out to find which one is best for you. Or, for maximum results, you can combine a few different abdominal exercises or alternate between your favorites.
Lose Weight - Stay Fit and Stick With It!
Health and nutrition experts continually advise us that the more we exercise the healthier we will be. In magazines, the doctor's office or on television we are never far from information showing us how to exercise, what to eat and how to lose weight. One constant rule, in the expert's opinion, is that regular physical activity is an essential element to successful weight loss and fitness maintenance.
5 Ways to Fit Fitness In
Five points to consider when you want to fit fitness into a hectic life
7 Ways To Guarantee You Stick To Your Workout Program
1. Begin Looking at Exercise Differently. Think of exercise as a way of life. Do not look as exercise as a chore or task that hurts you. Exercise is probably the most inexpensive and fun thing you can do for your life. Find something in exercise that you enjoy doing such as meeting new people, getting out of work, or your means of stress relief. It will be like brushing your teeth or eating breakfast. The sooner you view exercise as a activity of health and way of life, the sooner your results will show up.
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