Warming up prior to exercise, training or game time is vital in order to gain optimal results and reduce risk of injury. Athlete’s need to take the time to warm-up because if they skip that short amount of time it takes to warm up, it could mean downtime for them from training, practice and from game time.
Why it’s important to warm up
Warming up raises the temperature in your body so the hemoglobin in the blood can move easier throughout the body which helps produce oxygen easier. Injuries can occur by stiff muscles moving repetitively. Once your body is warmed up, it makes your muscles more flexible which means they can move more smoothly and with more coordination and reduce the risk of injury.
Benefits of warm ups
- Raises muscle temperature
- Increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients going to your muscles
- Increases your heart and respiratory rate
- Prepares body for intense workout
- Increased muscle flexibility
- Quicker contracting and relaxing of muscles
- Increases nerve transmission
- Mental preparation
Type and Amount of Warm up
The amount and type of warm up will depend on the type of sport you are involved in and the duration of the activity you will participate in. Your trainer will be able to give you a specific amount and type of warm up that will fit the sport or sports you participate in.
Examples of warm-ups
- Walk quickly
- Jog for 2-3 minutes to raise body temperature
- Repetitive Movement
Cool down is done after your body’s temperature has been elevated from training, exercise, practice or participation in a sport. Your body needs to be properly cooled down in order to allow the heart rate to return to its resting rate and help remove lactic acid that is built up during activity.
Why it’s important to Cool Down
Once your body’s temperature has been raised, it is very important to have a cool down. A cool down is the time it takes for your body’s temperature to lower to a steady rate while still keeping your body moving but at a slower rate in order to allow your heart to resume its resting rate. If cool down is not done after strenuous exercise, training, practice or a game, it can lead to fainting, dizziness, stroke or heart attack. Therefore, it is crucial to the athlete’s health to do a cool down.
Benefits of Cool Down
- Reduce lactic acid to reduce soreness
- Return the heart rate to resting heart rate
- Helps prevent a sudden drop in Blood Pressure (BP)
- Helps decrease hormones like adrenaline
- Creates a mental relaxation
- Promotes healthy repair of cells and tissues within the muscles
Type and amount of cool down
The type of cool down and the length will depend on the type and length of activity. Typically, it is similar to the warm-up exercises. For example, if you were running you could walk or jog in order to cool down. Your trainer will be able to give you tips based on the training or sport in which you are involved. Proper cool down can lead to a speedy recovery so you can be ready to train again at your scheduled training time or to be ready for your game.
Examples of Cool Downs
- Walk slowly while monitoring your heart rate
- Repetitive Movement