Exercise Essentials: Warming Up & Cooling Down
- Posted on: Jan 11 2012
We all know the benefits of healthy exercise—physical fitness, increased energy and weight control among others. But, do you know the best way to make your exercise regimen more effective and reduce your risk for injury? Read on to learn a bit about the importance of warming up and cooling down before and after physical activity.
The Warm Up
Warming up prepares your body for the physical demands of exercise. The main goal of the warm up is to raise your heart rate gradually. Many patients start with gentle aerobic activity, such as a slow jog or cycling in a low gear. Don’t skip this crucial step! Warming up raises your muscle temperature, gets blood flowing and increases flexibility. Remember, flexibility is your best defense against exercise injuries.
The Cool Down
Cooling down is just as important as warming up—maybe even more so. The cool down is a two-step process. First, by decreasing the intensity of your activity, you give your body a chance to recover from the physical demands of exercise. The second part of the cool down is the stretch. Stretching after exercise doesn’t just feel good; it improves your flexibility and reduces muscle tension. Most importantly, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, “stretching after each workout reduces your risk for injury.” That’s reason enough to make this a regular part of your exercise routine.
In Need of an Orthopedist?
If you’re suffering from an exercise-related injury or would like more information about the Sports Medicine we offer, we encourage you to contact us today. Our offices are located in Worcester, proudly serving the surrounding areas. Schedule your appointment today at (508) 363-6363. We look forward to hearing from you.
Posted in: Injury Prevention Tips