Include warm-up and cool-down in your exercise routineBy Connie Wan, P.h.D | December 27th, 2017
The perfect exercise routine involves the right mix of cardiovascular and strength training. Whether your exercising goal is weight loss, body-building or strength training, you should always include a warm-up session (to warm up the muscle and prevent the sports injury) and a cool-down session (to reduce the muscle cramp).
Warming up pumps nutrient-rich, oxygenated blood to the muscles as the movement speeds up your heart rate and breathing. A good warm-up should last five to 10 minutes and work all major muscle groups. There is no fixed move for a warm-up session. For best results, start slowly, then pick up the pace. Many warm-up routines focus on cardio and range-of-motion exercises, such as jumping jacks and lunges. You can do a simpler warm-up by walking in place while swinging your arms.
After the workout, it’s best to spend five to 10 minutes cooling down through a sequence of slow movements. This helps prevent muscle cramps and dizziness while gradually slowing your breathing and heart rate. An effective cool-down also incorporates stretching exercises to relax and lengthen muscles throughout your body and improve your range of motion. To get the most out of these exercises, hold each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds. The longer you can hold a stretch, the better for improving your flexibility. As with the warm-up, it’s best to flow from one stretch to the next without rests in between.
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