Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. You have only 25-minutes to spare and a ton of exercises to check off your workout list before you conquer the day. The last thing you want to do is hit the mat for some warm up stretches or jump on the treadmill to loosen those legs. It feels like you're wasting 'proper' exercise time. By the time you factor in warmups and cool downs you'll have just a few minutes to spare and already feel rushed as is - you have to be at work/home/somewhere else soon.
As tempting as it is to skip warming up and cooling down, there’s a reason these things exist. Aside from injury prevention, warm ups and cool downs are important for many other reasons.
Ideally you will spend approximately 5-10 minutes of stretching exercises and/or low-impact cardiovascular exercise. The key is to loosen your body up in preparation for the exercises you will do.
Oftentimes warming up on an exercise bike or walking on a treadmill are good examples. It prepares the body for the workout ahead, rather than just going from sedentary to full out workout mode. Getting the heart pumping and blood flowing also prepares your cardiovascular system for what’s ahead. Stretching and moving warms the muscles which relaxes them.
Usually a cool down involves some form of cardiovascular exercise in which the speed, intensity and/or tempo are reduced with duration. For example, five minutes on a treadmill will suffice to reduce the chance of aches and pains later on in the day or when you wake up tomorrow. Start with an easy pace, walking for a minute, slow the pace a bit more, walk another minute, repeat. Stretching is encouraged as well during a cool down. This allows the body to rid itself of any wastes that surfaced during a workout.
By warming up and cooling down, you are not only allowing your body proper segue into or out of exercise, but providing yourself mental benefits as well. You can use the time during a warm up to mentally prepare for your workout, while using the cool down to catch your breath and applaud yourself for a job well done.
Although it make be tough at times to fit these in, just remember they are just as important as your workout.
It is especially important when completing Time Trial workouts as warmup and cool down are not counted in the timed workouts. We expect you to be ready to go and properly warming up is the key to a long healthy and pain free app experience.
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