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Warming up and Cooling Down with at-home Exercise

April 16, 2020

With everyone relying on their own motivation and online fitness services to keep in shape during the current lockdown, it would not be surprising for two elements of exercise to go amiss. We are of course, talking about warming up and cooling down. But why are these aspects so important?

The importance of warming up and cooling down

A warmup is crucial to any workout, whether it be weights or cardio. From 5 to 15 minutes, a warmup will allow you to increase blood flow, send oxygen to your muscles, improve range of motion and simply prepare your muscles for the upcoming workout. It is also essential for keeping risk of injury to an absolute minimum and can even improve your performance at the gym.

A cooldown, however, is there to lower your heart rate at the end of a workout and prevent your muscles from going stiff. Dropping the intensity of your workout and slowing down is ideal for helping the body relax. And don’t forget to stretch!

The best way to warm up

It’s important for you to loosen your muscles while you warm up, which means it’s time to get moving. Some light cardio will get your heart rate up while getting your muscles ready to kick things up a gear in the main workout. Stretching will also benefit your muscles, but it is best that you find the best stretches for your activity. For example, if you plan on going for a run, lunges would be a great way to stretch out your legs.

The best way to cool down

At the end of your main workout, now is the time to slow down your movement. A few minutes of walking will help bring your heart rate back down. Afterwards, it’s time to stretch once more. This should last as long as you think your body needs.

To those who skip these steps…

Though you are less likely to pull a muscle after the workout, you shouldn’t skip either part of the regime. Both go hand in hand and will benefit not only your fitness abilities but everyday life. A high-intensity workout will especially require a cooldown as your muscles need to avoid tightening up later on. It is also advised you take a cool shower (not ice cold) after the workout is complete. Follow this up with an Epsom salt bath an hour later to soak your body and allow your muscles to absorb the magnesium. This is a key ingredient for repairing muscle damage.

Then, about an hour after a cold shower, take an Epsom salt bath. Simply add about 2 cups Epsom salts to a lukewarm bath and soak for 20 to 40 minutes to let your muscles absorb the magnesium. This helps repair muscle damage and offset delayed inflammation.

Get in touch with Fit2Train for more information about exercising at home and online fitness services.

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