Fit-inista Carolyn Phillips– our on air personal trainer– is back with more tips to get you in shape and what you need to do to stay that way!
This week, Carolyn talks all about warm ups and cool downs– HOW to do it, WHEN to do it and WHY to do it.
A lot of people start their workout with stretching, but that’s not the best thing to do. Carolyn starts with what’s called a dynamic warm up, which is going to increase blood flow and body temperature. This helps get your hormones set to burn fat properly and also protect your body against injuries.
A 5 to 10 minute warm up should be good, and it has to be cardio-vascular based to get the blood flowing. Things like jogging, jumping jacks are great examples– they increase blood vessel dialation and help lower stress on your heart. These warm ups will also help produce hormones to prepare your body to use carbohydrates and fatty acids for energy. It will also increase body temperature, so you’ll have less a risk of injury– it’s a way to make your exercise more efficient.
As for the cool down, again, the myth of stretching is not entirely true– post exercise stretching will not help prevent pain. A cool down should be cardio vascular based, just like a warm up, and every few minutes you’ll just want to slow down your pace to get your blood flow lowered. After a few minutes, THAT’s when you do the stretching. Hold for about 20 seconds, and it will help increase your mobility and flexibility. Since all the muscles are warmed up and ready to be stretched, this is the perfect time to get some stretches in.
A lot of people skip both these steps, but they’re very important to ensure you’re getting the best, safest workout possible– and they only take 5 to 10 minutes extra time.