Warming up and cooling down are important parts of a workout. They help regulate your heart rate and they also prevent injuries.

However, not everyone is a fan especially because they think it’s just the workout that matters. Read on to know more about why a warm-up or a cool-down can change your workouts.

Why People Skip Warm Ups and Cool Downs

The exercises you do before a workout is what you call a warm-up. Meanwhile, the ones you do after a workout is a cool-down. These two workout parts are often overlooked for many reasons. One of them is time.

If you want to reduce the time you spend working out, then you might say that you can skip the warm-up or the cool-down. You might also think that those parts don’t do anything for your body since they are just light exercises. If you are already pumped up for the exercises, what do you need them for?

Why You Need to Warm Up and Cool Down

Apparently, skipping these important parts should not be missed. Here are some reasons why:

A warm-up is meant to increase the blood circulation in your body. The movements you make help awaken your sleeping muscles so that they don’t get pulled suddenly. If you rush to the exercise, chances are, you will increase the chance of injury.

You might tear a muscle or two, or it can hurt your joints. Warm-ups are meant to loosen these parts so that you can be more flexible.

Moreover, a warm-up helps quicken your heart rate. It’s a gradual increase to prepare you for the actual exercise. It provides both physical and mental preparation that gives you a smoother transition into the exercise.

A cool-down is the exercise you do after a workout. Just like a warm-up, it improves blood flow. Since your muscles use a lot of oxygen during the exercise, you need to replenish that oxygen supply so your muscles can release tension. Cool-down exercises also help release lactic acid so your recovery time gets shortened.

Another reason why cool-down exercises are important is it reduces muscle soreness. While muscle soreness is normal after a workout, that doesn’t mean that you should not reduce the pain. Stretches, slow walks, or slow cycling can help alleviate the soreness. Although it doesn’t remove all the pain, it does make it more tolerable.

Other than the blood circulation and muscle soreness that both warm-ups and cool-downs address, it also reduces blood pooling. Blood pooling occurs when your muscles suddenly start or stop contracting.

The blood that flows in the lower extremities can have a hard time coming back up to the heart and brain. If this happens, you can end up feeling lightheaded.

If you have little time to work out, what you can do is allot your time wisely. You can give 1-2 minutes of stretches before and after just so you can prevent injuries. These 2 minutes can make a difference in your workout, blood circulation, and muscle recovery.

Emma Pyke
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