New Year, New Exercise Goals?
Increasing physical activity, like going to the gym, is one of the most common new year’s resolutions. As it should be! One of the most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle is regular exercise. Warm-ups and cool-downs are essential for a healthy exercise regimen.
Why is it so important? Insufficient warm-ups or cool-downs lead to consequences and higher likelihood of injury:
- Increased stiffness the next day
- Muscle strain
- Muscle cramping
- Changes in blood pressure
- Dizziness and nausea
Exercise Tips – Warm Up
Warm-ups should be performed 5-10 minutes prior to a workout or activity. The intensity and length of a warm-up should be directly related to the exercise you will be doing. It should include deep breathing exercises, gentle stretches, and gentle range of motion exercises to help loosen your joints and muscles.
The benefits of a warm-up are:
- Increased blood flow to large muscles and heart
- More oxygen and nutrients delivered to tissues for optimal function
- Help to lower blood pressure which reduces stress on the heart
- Primes your nervous system for exercise
Exercise Tips – Cool Down
Cool-downs are just as essential as warm-ups. Cool-downs should be done 5-10 minutes immediately following your workout. The cool-down is a lighter version of your workout: slow jog, brisk walk, and gentle stretching.
The benefits of a cool-down are:
- Decrease heart rate and body temperature
- Reduces lactic acid; build up can cause muscle cramps/soreness
- Reduces blood pooling; decreasing incidents of dizziness/fainting
Article written by Dr. Tiffanee McArthur. For more information, check visit our chiropractic page or schedule an appointment.