Why You’re Doing It Wrong If You Skip Warming Up/Cooling Down

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 12:01 am by

I understand that people want to get their workouts done in as little amount of time as possible. We’re busy…I get it, believe me. That being said, people usually tend to skip 2 super important parts of their workout: the warm up and the cool down.

A lot of people view these as “optional” and don’t really view them as part of the workout. Well I call BS. If you ask me, a workout isn’t complete unless you warm up beforehand and cool down afterwards.

Why? Let me explain.

warmup and cooldown

The warm up is important because it gets your body going. You shouldn’t start from 0 and rev up to 50 right away. You need to ease your body (muscles, heart rate, etc) into an intense workout. Warm ups help loosen up stiff muscles, which in turn can improve your performance and decrease your risk for injury. Sounds pretty necessary, right?

Some examples of what to do during a warm up are:

  • Speed walking or light jogging for 5-10 minutes
  • Preforming some dynamic stretches (stretches that involve movement like squats, lunges, knee hugs, etc)
  • Foam rolling (which you can read more about here)

The cool down is what you do post workout to help get that heart rate back down to its resting state. This will help reduce dizziness and nausea after you workout. Cool downs also help keep lactic acid and toxins from lodging themselves in the muscles. Cooling down helps force these out of your muscles which reduces soreness from working out. Also sounds pretty important, huh?

Some examples of what to do during a cool down are:

  • Moderate pace walk for 5-10 minutes
  • Preforming some static stretches (stretches that do not involve movement…so the ones where you’re stretching the muscle to the point of tension and holding it there for at least 30 seconds)
  • Foam rolling

Warming up and cooling down only add 10-20 minutes onto your workout time, which might sound like a lot, but you have the think of the benefits. Your next workout will be more effective because your body won’t be as sore. You have way less of a chance of getting hurt during the workout if your muscles are warm. And so on.

So next time you’re getting ready to workout, don’t forget to warm up before and cool down after…your body will thank you!

xo, Jessica

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1 Comment

  • Kimberrleigh says:

    Warm ups & cool downs are the favorite part of my workouts, because they’re the easiest! Seriously! A 5 minute brisk walk either outside or on the treadmill (since the weather has been crap here) at like a 2.5 incline and a 3.8-4 speed gets my blood flowing. And I love stretching out during a cool down. I can just relax, breathe and take the time to get my heart rate down. I can also totally tell the next day if I don’t stretch after my workouts (usually runs) – I’ll feel miserable for days!

    carelessly graceful

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