"Just the facts Ma'am" - Get The Facts On Warming Up and Cooling Down!

Whether you are starting a rehabilitation program or an exercise program, the importance of warming up prior to your workout and cooling down afterwards cannot be overlooked. However, many people skip these important steps and jump straight to their workout. Though taking time to warm up and cool down does prolong a workout session, these are vital steps to promoting the benefits of exercise as well as helping you not to injure yourself during your workout.

So why is it so important to warm up before your workout? Warming up your body readies your body for your workout: you increase your heart rate and respiration slowly, your muscle temperature increases, as does your blood flow. So before jumping straight to your workout, take 5 to 10 minutes to walk at a moderate pace, jog slowly, ride a stationary bike or go on the elliptical to get your body warmed up.

Cooling down is just as important. A cool down can be the same activity at the same pace as your warm up. This will allow your heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration to slowly return to normal. This is very important to help prevent dizziness or light-headedness once you’ve finished your workout.

A great way to warm up the neck is to do half circles.  Roll the head from shoulder to shoulder with the head flexed forward slightly and then with slight extension.  You can also use a hot pack to warm the muscles up even more.  On the same token, for a cool down you can again do gentle neck rolls, as well as ice, and even breathing exercises.

Now next time you hit the gym, or do your home neck or back exercises you’ll know the importance behind your warm up and cool down as you’re doing them. Giving your body this time to prepare for and overcome a hard workout is vital to the success of your workout regime.

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