Warm-Up And Cool-Down Benefits When Exercising
Just in case you have been living under a box, you should know just how vital warm-ups and cool-downs are for any workout session. You’ve heard it from your know-it-all colleagues, your fitness-obsessed friends, that personal trainer you hired when you were set on regaining your beach bod. And we are sure your high school gym teacher also nagged on and on about the benefits of both until they were blue in the face...
Yet, here you are again contemplating skipping one or both in favor of an extra few minutes on the treadmill - minutes which could obviously help banish that muffin top creeping over the sides of your pants. Or, even worse, trading them in for more time in front of the boob tube. Come on…put the remote down!
Not only can warm-ups and cool-downs help you avoid unnecessary injuries and exercise-related aches and pains, but they can also help boost your overall workout performance. Now that’s worth taking a few minutes out of your day for, wouldn’t you say?
Why Warm-Up And What Should it Entail?
Preparing you both physically and mentally for the start of another epic workout sesh, a warm-up helps get those muscles going, your blood flowing, and gradually raises your body temperature. But why is all of that so important anyway?
Well, the strain of sudden, vigorous movement on cold muscles or a cardiovascular system that’s happily humming away as usual can be pretty severe.
Colder muscles are far more prone to injuries and are naturally less efficient than warmed-up ones. Pushing them to perform without preparation will only increase soreness and lengthen the recovery time between sessions. Bring on the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)!
As for your poor heart and lungs, they will be left struggling to keep up. And, if oxygen is not getting where it’s needed, then you’re unlikely to be able to give it your best no matter how hard you try (which also means you won’t be able to reach your potential of performance since you’re unlikely to be able to get “in the zone” without a warm-up).
That’s why the first 5 - 10 minutes of any vigorous physical activity should be a series of dynamic movements to get your body and mind ready to go. These movements should focus specifically on the muscles you will be using, starting with the larger and moving to the more minor. A good way of doing this is to carry out the activity you are about to perform at a reduced pace or lower intensity, e.g., a brisk walk before a run.
As the purpose of your warm-up is - well, as you might have guessed - to warm you up, you might find that you sweat a little. However, you shouldn’t be left totally exhausted. If you are, you’ve probably prematurely launched into the main event and will need to dial it back a notch, just until you get going for real.
Main Benefits of Warming Up
So, to recap, we warm-up for:
- Improved heart and lung function - Blood and oxygen will be more effectively traveling throughout your body, allowing you to work harder and for longer.
- Enhanced nerve transmission and muscle metabolism - Your muscles will perform faster, more efficiently, and have greater flexibility and a better range of motion.
- Better blood flow to warm muscles - This makes them much less likely to rip, tear or twist for a reduced chance of skeletal muscle injury.
- Stronger mental focus - You will be feeling ready to tackle your workout head-on and push yourself really hard, obviously.
Tackling The Cool-Down Correctly
Post-workout, fight the urge to curl up into a ball on the floor. Instead, ensure you spend another 5-10 minutes (depending on how hard you worked and how revved up your body is) allowing your bodily functions to gradually return to normal - your breathing, your heart rate, etc.
What makes this process so essential is that quickly cutting off all movement could cause your blood pressure to drop suddenly. And the resulting dizziness and light-headedness will not feel great. And, let’s face it, lying flat on your back on the floor in a public place looks good on absolutely no one!
An effective cool-down also helps rid your body of residual lactic acid, which could increase feelings of soreness and stiffness. This happens as you stretch out your poor tired muscles while they are still warm so as to avoid injury this way. Doing so makes you more quickly ready for your next workout rather than still suffering from your last.
Like your warm-up, your cool-down should focus on the muscles you’ve been using. However, rather than gradually increasing in speed or intensity dynamic movements, this time you will bem using slower, more controlled motions. Finish off with some lovely, slow stretches - you know, the kind that just hurt so good!
Main Benefits of Cooling Down
A slow, steady cool-down offers the following advantages:
- Gradual return to regular heart and breathing rates - This prevents any feelings of dizziness or nausea that could develop after a challenging workout.
- Reduced excess lactic acid - Your muscles will be able to recover much faster with less overall stiffness and soreness involved.
- More flexible, happier muscles - Stretches help enhance your muscle range and mobility, meaning you’ll do even better next time.
- Relaxation and reflection - The exercise afterglow is a very real thing and helps you maintain a positive focus on this crucial aspect of your life.
How Turq Can Help You Go Even Further
With all that on your mind, the very last thing you will want to worry about is painful thigh chafing or that uncomfortable feeling or underwear riding up your butt or sagging around your waist. Having the right kind of underwear for your workout doesn’t seem all that crucial… until it suddenly is... and then it REALLY is.
Avoid such issues by checking out Turq’s range of performance underwear. House your nether region in breathable, silver-infused microfiber pants that support your boys while keeping them happily ventilated and moisture-free.
And a pair of Turq’s can also be the perfect secret weapon to help you be that much more effective in your warm-ups and cool-downs. Why? Well, with optimal comfort and support, you will be able to more easily and sufficiently warm up with no worries about chafing getting in the way. And since Turq’s offer proper ventilation, you will be able to stay cool and comfortable - during the whole workout - and also cool down afterwards more efficiently as well,
How’s that for super fresh, healthy and hygienic (not to mention whiff-free) comfort for your parts - for all parts of your workout?