The warm up is a vital part of any exercise program. Be it running, aerobics, rollerblading, basket, swimming or any kind of activity that requires your body to work you will need to warm up. Then again, you may ask: Why warm up? Well, for one thing, warming up lubricates your joints and lubricated joints helps you to move better and that prepares your body for the intense movement of the exercise. Warming up gets your heart to pump more blood and take in more oxygen. If you start exercising without warming up you risk injuries (for example: pulling a muscle) that could have easily been prevented if you took the time to warm up.
Usually a warm-up should be five to ten minutes long and it should be cardiovascular activity, to get your heart pumping more blood, and light stretching, to prepare your muscles for the intense movement of the workouts. Light stretching during the warm-up will loosen the muscle so you can move easily. When you warm up you increase the internal temperature of your body which will increase your mechanical efficiency, make you less vulnerable to injuries and allow for a greater range of motion. That's all for now!:)
The Cool Down:
If you had to miss one of the three main components of your exercise routine it's highly recommended that you DO NOT skip the cool-down. "Why?", you ask. Well here's why: the cool-down is your recovery phase where you start to recover from the workout you just finished. It is guaranteed that if you do not cool down and stretch after a strenuous workout you will be in a lot of pain for the next couple of days. Cool-Down - the title speaks for itself, but it is still worth explaining a little more in depth. After your workout comes the cool-down; you start to breathe a little slower, lifting less weight and simply cooling down. Once you have lowered your heart rate you stretch your all your muscles - paying special attention to the muscles you've just worked. Each stretch should last for at least eight seconds and naturally you should hold the stretch a little longer and repeat it if the muscle feels particularly sore. Don't over do the stretching; stretch until you feel some mild tension in the muscle - stretching shouldn't hurt.