The Importance of a Warm-up and Cool Down
Before you jump into an intense workout, consider starting your exercise with a quick warm-up. A warm-up generally helps to prepare your body for aerobic activity. Warm-ups gradually raise body temperature and increase blood flow to the muscles, as well as reduce soreness and prevent injury. If you have been failing to do a warm-up and are experiencing joint or muscle pain, contact our Wantagh orthopedist as soon as possible.
For a warm-up, it is wise to do exercises that are specific to the activity you plan to do in the workout. For example:
- Running – warm up with a 5-10 minute jog.
- Weightlifting- warm up with 5-10 minutes of dynamic stretching and light lifting.
- Swimming- warm up with a slow swim that gradually increases in speed.
Additionally, failing to warm-up properly before a workout can result in injury. Well-implemented warm-ups have been proven to reduce the risk of painful injuries, being that they help to prepare your muscles and joints for an intense workout. Injuries that can result from skipping a warm-up include:
- Pulled/strained muscles
- Shoulder and knee injuries
- Shin splint
Cooling down after a workout is just as critical as the warm-up. Following a workout, your heart rate is high, your blood vessels are dilated, and your body temperature is heightened. Stretching during your cool-down is critical because your joints, limbs, and muscles are warm after a workout. Stretching can aid in reducing lactic acid buildup that can lead to cramping and stiffness of muscles.
Additionally, a good stretch can help to improve joint mobility and flexibility. Cool-downs are similar to warm-ups in the sense that you usually want to continue with the activity you are doing already in your workout. However, you want to incorporate a stretching routine into your cool-down as well.
Tips for a good cool-down:
- Walk until your heart rate gets below 120 BPM.
- Hold stretches for 10-30 seconds.
- Stretching should not be painful.
- Don’t bounce.
- Exhale while stretching.
- Inhale while holding out the stretch.
Although the warm-up and cool-down parts of your workout can prove to be critical to your joint health, many people still lack the proper knowledge to do them properly. Our Wantagh orthopedist can answer any questions you may have about your joint health, as well as any questions you may have about warm-ups and cool-downs to help prevent future joint problems. Advanced Orthopedics & Joint Preservation is an excellent Wantagh orthopedist that is ready to help you with all of your joint and muscle needs.