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What's the deal about Warming Up and Cooling Down
April 7, 2017

Get your body ready for a good run or workout by doing some warming up routines.
A good warm-up dilates your blood vessels to make sure that your muscles are well supplied with oxygen. It also raises your muscles' temperature for optimal flexibility and efficiency. By slowly raising you heart rate, the warm-up also helps minimize stress on your heart.

This cool-down is just as critical. It keeps the blood flowing throughout the body. Stopping suddenly can cause light-headedness because your heart rate and blood pressure drop rapidly.

Warm up

Before you exercise, think about warming up your muscles like you would warm up your car. It increases the temperature and flexibility of  your muscles, and helps you be more efficient and safer during your workout. A warm-up before moderate or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity allows a gradual increase in heart rate and breathing at the start of the activity.


  • Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes. The more intense the activity, the longer the warm-up.
  • Do your planned activity (running, walking, cycling, etc.) at a slower pace (jog, walk slowly).
  • Use your entire body like walking on a treadmill and doing some modified bent-knee push-ups will suffice.

Cool down

Cooling down after a workout is as important as warming up. After physical activity, your heart is still beating faster than normal, your body temperature is higher and your blood vessels are dilated. This means if you stop too fast, you could pass out or feel sick. A cool-down after physical activity allows a gradual decrease at the end of the episode.

It's good to stretch when you're cooling down because your limbs, muscles and joints are still warm. Stretching can help reduce the buildup of lactic acid, which can lead to muscles cramping and stiffness.


  • Walk for about 5 minutes, or until your heart rate gets below 120 beats per minute.
  • Do some stretching, and breathe while you're stretching. Exhale as you stretch, inhale while holding the stretch.

So do your body a favor. Take time to gradually progress into your workout and cool down when you're done being physically active.

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