There’s no better feeling than warming up for the activity ahead of you—stretching out, limbering up and getting your mind and body in a state of preparedness. Likewise, after you’re done pushing yourself to the limit and it’s time to pack it in and call it a day, few things feel as good as a good cool down regimen.
Warm up and cool downs are an essential part of any rigorous activity—whether it’s a quick run at the gym or a full football practice after school. These exercises not only put your mind in the right place, they actually give your body the cues it needs to prep itself before the activity ahead and heal itself after you’re all done. All of this is a very simple way of saying that both are essential if you’re hoping to avoid Brampton sports injuries.
Have you ever gotten up from the couch too fast or started to run from a standstill position? Chances are, it didn’t end well and you found yourself wincing in pain from a strained muscle or a twisted ligament. The reason for this is simple: when it’s not warmed up, your body has a more limited range of motion and less flexibility. Once it’s limbered up and stretched out, however, your body’s full range of motion and endurance are tapped into, better preparing you for the effort you’re about to throw at it.
Warm ups are an essential part of any physical activity and regardless of what that activity is, your warm ups will always have the same components: stretching, light cardio and calisthenics. Take a look at why each is so important:
- Stretching keeps your muscles loose and prevents cramps, as well as tears and other strains that can easily plague a muscle that’s cold and still.
- Light cardio gets your heart rate up and your blood pumping faster, allowing your body to enter its target heart rate zone and ensure that oxygenated blood is getting delivered to the vital systems in your body.
- Calisthenics simply means conditioning your body for a more extended range of motion, as is more common is sports activities and other exercises.
While warm ups may be a crucial aspect in keeping the potential for Brampton sports injuries low, cool downs are just as important. Cool down exercises facilitate a return to a normal heart rate, decrease in adrenaline and allow your body to regulate its normal levels again, so that you’re not stuck operating at a high level when you’re really not.
Many people think that cool downs are simply the act of stopping the activity that you were doing and drinking water—this, in fact, isn’t representative of a good cool down process at all! Cool downs are aptly named because they involve doing a less strenuous version of your activity, so as to slowly bring your heart rate down—for example, if you’re running, slowly lowering your pace to a walk is a good example of a cool down.
All in all, it’s important not to underestimate the value of both warm ups and cool downs as parts of your workout regimen. These simple acts can greatly reduce your chances of suffering from Brampton sports injuries and will serve to transition you to and from your intended exercise.