Warm up & Cool down Tips
For any exercise to be more effective, one requires to warm up. There are several benefits that are derived from warming up.
Warm ups are essential for any workout because they reduce the risk of injury: After warm up, the body temperature increases which in turn warms your muscle fibers making them more fluid for easy stretching and contraction. Some of the basic warms are:
1. Toe touch- this is done by placing your right leg on an elevated structure like a chair or railing to make you leg parallel with the ground. Lean forward and slowly try to touch your right toe with your right hand. Hold the toe and count up to 10-20 then repeat with your left hand making sure you keep the same position. Switch the legs and repeat with each hand.
2. Wall push- standing at about one and a half feet away from the wall, lean forward with your feet flat on the ground and push against the wall counting to 10 or more incase of longer stretches. Repeat severally till the effect is felt.
3. Palm touch- stand with your knees slightly bent. Then bend from the waist and try to touch your palms to the floor. Count to 10 or 20, then rest. Repeat once or twice. If you have lower back problems, do this exercise with your legs crossed.
After your workout, you need to cool down too. You need to do two to five minutes of mild activity after your vigorous exercise. Gradually decrease the intensity of the exercise and then do some slow stretching exercises to re-stretch your muscles.
This is important because it gradually slows down the pumping action of your heart. This prevents blood from pooling in your lower muscles which can reduce blood flow to the heart and brain.
Cool down stretching also prevents muscle stiffness and soreness by re-stretching muscles that are shortened during exercise.