5 Top Benefits of Warm Ups and Cool Downs!

We are all told to do at least an hour of exercise a day but did you know that we also need to incorporate two days of strength training? Before you hit those dumbbells, you need to warm up and after you do your exercises, a cool down session should be done. Why is this needed you ask? Read on to find out the 5 Top Benefits of Warm Ups and Cool Downs!

1. Regulates blood flow
We need to increase the blood flow going to the muscles before we take part in any form of vigorous exercise thereby reducing the chances of experiencing cramp and muscle soreness the following day. Warming up also helps you feel more energized during exercise and increases your motivation and attention levels. Cooling down allows for blood flow to return safely to a normal level without causing any dizziness or faintness.

2. Reduces risk of injury
Warming up helps reduce the risk of injury from occurring during more strenuous exercise. Warm-ups also allow your body to stretch and perform to its maximum range of flexibility. It also allows you take part effectively in more demanding exercises such as weightlifting and long-distance running.

3. Increases motivation
When you undergo a warm up session, one noticeable difference is that you feel more motivated to move to other areas of cardiovascular exercise such as jogging, cycling and running. The reason for this is because of the increase of endorphins to your brain. These chemicals make us happy and increase our motivational levels. When we do a cool down session, we feel the effects still further as we regulate the blood flow in our body and have a far better sense of control.

4. Reduces muscle stiffness
Cooling down is of major benefit to your muscles. The reason for this is because we are slowly allowing our circulation levels to gradually drop to a safe level. If we don’t have a cool down session and hop on the bus home (as an example) we increase the chances of experiencing muscle stiffness, cramps and fatigue the following morning. The cool down helps you maintain muscle flexibility while permitting you another productive day.

5. Regulated breathing patterns
Warm ups and cool downs help regulate your breathing patterns during exercise. If we suddenly decide to launch ourselves into strenuous exercise without a warm up session, we increase the chances of discomfort during exercise, pulled muscles and lactic acid build up. All this links back to breathing as we need to expel these chemicals from our body. Warm ups and cool downs help accelerate the return to normal physiological states, ensuring relaxation and optimum sleep quality.

Do refer to the video above for some examples of warm ups and cool downs for your gym routine. It only takes 5-10 minutes of your workout time and the payoffs are significant,  what do you have to lose? Got some warm ups/cool downs that work for you? Share them below or @ KeepfitKingdom !

Francesca Gregori

Franki is a nutrition student currently undergoing her second year at Bournemouth University. Originally from London, she has a passion for anything health, food and well-being related; she enjoys reading, baking and experimenting with different recipes. In addition to trying out new exercises and workouts in the gym, she loves to read up on recent topics in the nutrition field and walks along the coastline.

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