Perhaps you love working out so much that as you as you get to the gym, you immediately hit the weights and machines. Not a good move. A safe and healthy workout must be preceded by a sensible warm-up routine, and followed by a cool-down.
Why, you may ask?
Warming up is an excellent way to increase muscular blood and oxygen flow, as well as raise your body temperature, potentially decreasing the risk of injury, and post-workout muscle pain. It also enhances your exercise performance, making for a safer and more effective workout.
Cooling down gradually resets your pre-workout blood pressure and heart rate, preventing light-headedness, or nausea.
So, what’s the best way to warm up? For five to ten minutes, do a slow version of whichever activity you were planning for your workout (running, swimming, etc). Ensure that you use your entire body. For instance, if you were planning a vigorous walk, be sure to swing your arms while you’re at it.
And to cool down? Repeat whatever you did for your warm-up. Breathe deeply and restore your body to a state of rest.
Also, don’t forget that a light stretch at the start and end your workout routine is also great for reducing lactic acid build-up, which in turn protects muscles from possible soreness and stiffness, as well as increases your flexibility.
It’s great to be enthusiastic about your time at the gym, but it’s crucial to be sensible about doing your workout right. Your body will thank you!