Sufficient physical activity is necessary for a healthier life. A 30-minute brisk walk every day can result in noticeable improvements. No matter what your choice of exercise is - walking, jogging or gym workouts, you’ll need to do it properly in order to reap the benefits and avoid injuries. Especially when you perform challenging and intense exercises, it’s mandatory to follow the proper instructions and avoid overdoing them. The best approach to workouts to obtain the best results while steering clear of injuries is warming up before the workout and cooling down afterwards.
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Many find the warm-up and cool-down sessions quite boring and unnecessary; they focus more on the core exercises. However, this misconception does more harm than good.
Warm-ups and cool-downs; what are they?
Warm up and cool down exercises both involve low-intensity and slow-paced exercises. Warm-up exercises prepare the body for better performance and cool-down exercises help the recovery process after workouts.
Simple warm-up exercises include light jogging, cycling at a moderate pace and stretching exercises. By doing so, your blood flow increases, muscles become more agile, and your body temperature rises, reducing the risk of you getting injured. When your muscles are stretched and warmed up, the strain you put in during intense workouts have less effect on the muscles, and you’ll have only minor discomforts after the workout.
Cool-down exercises after a workout gradually decreases the heart rate and blood flow back to the normal level. If you abruptly stop your workout without slowly returning to the normal state, there is a possibility that you’ll experience muscle cramps and soreness. This effect is usually seen in endurance sports such as long-distance running; it’s often seen that participants who suddenly cease motion after completion of such endurance sports. Take at least 10 minutes to cool down after the workout.
The benefits of warming up
- Better performance
- Better blood flow
- Improved oxygen efficiency
- Efficient muscle activity
- Less prone to injuries
- Mental preparation for the main exercises
The benefits of cooling down
- Faster recovery
- Reduced DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)
What could happen if you didn’t warm up or cool down?
- Increased risk of injuries – With warm-ups and cool-downs, you can reduce the risk of muscle-skeleton injuries.
- Blood pooling - If you don’t follow a cool-down routine your muscles stop contracting abruptly after the workout. Without the support of the muscles in the legs, the veins work inefficiently pumping the blood back to the heart. This may result in swollen ankles and feet as blood collects in these areas.
- Increased stress on the heart - Sudden need for increasing or decreasing the blood flow puts your heart at stress.
What is the best way to recover from a workout?
Do gentle stretches and reduce the intensity of movements slowly when you are cooling down. However, even if you did your cooling-down properly, you could expect muscle soreness afterwards. This is especially true after resistance training or intense workouts. When you work out, micro-tears appear in your muscles and during the recovery phase, they regrow stronger, adapting to perform more demanding intensities of the exercise.
Workouts and post-workout recovery are both equally important in order to gain maximum benefits. Let your muscles rest and make a full recovery before the next workout. You can speed up the recovery process by using a muscle recovery tool.
SPRYNG calf wrap is the most advanced active compression tool available on the market. It’s an essential device for anybody who’s involved in endurance sports, resistance training, or jobs that require you to stand or sit for long periods. SPRYNG is a, patent-pending, easy-to-use muscle recovery tool.