With 2016 finally here, many of us are ready to hit the ground running to achieve our fitness goals. Adding a warm up and cool down to our daily exercise routine will aid in injury prevention and increase fitness levels.
A warm up is defined as a 5 to 15 minute activity performed before working out at a lower intensity level than your planned workout.
Warming up before activity will:
- Increase blood flow and oxygen to muscles that will prepare them for exercises
- Decrease muscle soreness from previous work outs
- Increase flexibility of muscles allowing for better muscle contraction, which can increase strength
A cool down is considered as a 5 to 10 minute period after exercising that is performed at a lower intensity than that of your workout.
Cooling down after a workout will:
- Slow the heart rate and blood pressure down gradually
- Prevent lactic acid buildup from forming, decreasing muscle soreness
- If you are new to working out your warm up should be longer to help prevent injuries.
- Stretching should be performed after a cool down to help improve flexibility. Studies have shown stretching after a warm up can decrease the muscles overall strength.
Complimentary injury screenings will be held on February 4 and February 25 from 5 – 7 PM at the NovaCare located on the 3rd Floor of the FFC in Oak Park. Please stop by the front desk or by the NovaCare in Oak Park if you have any questions, or contact Allison Schmitt, PTA at (708) 383-3897 with any questions!