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Warming Up

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Before doing any exercise WARM UP!

Warm Up

 

Warming up correctly is a very important aspect of your fitness routine. Your warm up should be an activity that you do before you start your main session. Having a good warm up will decrease your chance of getting an injury during your activity and it will also increase your performance and energy.  Warming up means increasing your body temperature so a good warm is light jogging, running on the spot or skipping.  Increasing your temperature means your heart rate will increase which will open up small blood vessels that supply the muscles, so fuel and oxygen can be delivered quicker. Warming up for five to ten minutes before your activity is essential.

Cool Down

 

Cooling down after exercise is as important as warming up. If you finish your exercise and sit straight down your blood will pool in your muscles and the waste products that accumulated during the exercise will not be removed as efficiently and that will increase the chance of muscle soreness. Gradually reducing the speed of the activity after exercise can reduce the chances of your blood pooling. Light jogging, brisk walking or slow skipping is a good way to do this. Stretching is the best way to reduce muscle soreness so plan a good cool down in your exercise routine. 

Stretching

 

There are a lot of different types of stretches but when you are starting a fitness program you only have to worry about a couple. They are dynamic and static Stretching. 

 

Static

 

Static Stretching involves holding a stretch. It should be done in your warm up and cool down. Stretching increases muscle length and flexibility, which reduces the chance of getting an injury. Click here for some static stretches that should be performed daily to maintain muscle health. To increase your flexibility the stretches need to be held for more than 15 seconds. Relax the muscle that is being stretched and you should feel your muscle stretching. When you stretch NEVER bounce because you could pull or tear the muscle you are trying to stretch. You should not feel any pain. If you do feel pain reduce the stretch.

 

Dynamic

 

Dynamic stretching involves moving parts of your body gently and gradually increasing reach, speed of movement, or both. You have to gradually increase the movement until you reach your full range of motion. Dynamic stretching improves dynamic flexibility and is quite useful as part of your warm-up for an active or aerobic workout. You should perform 8-12 repetitions or until your muscles start to feel tired. If you keep going when your muscles get tired the muscles will loose elasticity and therfore will loose flexibility. Click here for dynamic stretches.