Thursday, June 10, 2010
In my first Active Readers post we talked about the 100 Mile Fitness Challenge but before we jump in and get exercising it is important to know how to start off your routine if you want to avoid injury. If you don't realise how important it is to warm up before your exercise routine and cool down afterward it can be pretty tempting to just throw yourself in to it and go straight for giving it all you've got. Making sure you include warming up and cooling down in your exercise routine can go a long way to helping to make sure that you avoid muscle strain and injury.
Your warm up routine should last five (5) to ten (10) minutes with the goal to slowly increase your heart rate.
The increased blood flow oxygenates your muscles and prepares them for the coming exercise. Your blood will vessels dilate which means less stress on your heart and the increased body temperature helps improve muscle elasticity. This site can give you some ideas on some easy to moderate warm up stretches to get you started.
Cooling down at the end of exercise is just as important as warming up. For something that so many people overlook, I am now finising it be one of my favourite parts of working out - a good cool down routine always leaves me feeling good! The goal of your cool down routine is to slowly bring your body temperature, heart rate, and breathing back down to their normal levels. One way to cool down is to continue with your exercise but slow it down. Then follow that up with some giving those muscles a good stretch. This site suggests some easy to moderate cool down stretches to give you some ideas.
Remember, guys, you should talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet of fitness regime. In the meantime I hope everyone is feeling happy, healthy, and active.