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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Value the ‘warm up’ and ‘cool down’

  • Hello, fitness enthusiasts. It’s time for your trainer to give you more information that will assist you in attaining all of the health, wellness, weight loss and performance goals you set for yourself and family.
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  • Hello, fitness enthusiasts.
     
    It’s time for your trainer to give you more information that will assist you in attaining all of the health, wellness, weight loss and performance goals you set for yourself and family.
     
    I would like to discuss a very important topic that pertains to us all, no matter the age.
     
    So, whether you are a young child participating in the Shawnee Little Olympics, a Division I college or Olympic athlete, a weekend warrior, or a senior citizen looking to stay active and independent for the rest of your life, this information is for you and should be included in your health improvement program.
     
    Today’s topic is properly warming up your body prior to physical activity and cooling it down at the end of your session.
     
    Just like stretching, warming up and cooling down is becoming a lost art because it is so easy to skip, since we’re all so busy and running so low on free time.
     
    Also, it is easy to mistakenly view it as an extra task or waste of time, since it doesn’t directly help us with the strenuous activities in our workout.
     
    Unfortunately, this mindset makes us rush into the gym and start exercising without properly preparing our minds, muscles and joints for the pounding we are about to endure.
     
    This leads to decreased performance from your muscles and is one of the best recipes for injury. A muscle that is ready to perform well is one that is loose, warm, durable and flexible, not one that is tight, stiff, aching and inflexible.
     
    Trust me, if you want great performance from your muscles and joints during physical activity, the warm up is critical.
     
    Your warm up takes only five to ten minutes and should include low intensity movements that are similar to those in the activity that will follow.
     
    Many experts stress that you stretch lightly after your active warm up, when your body temperature has been raised or “warmed up.”
     
    Cooling down after exercise is important because it restores the body circulation to its normal resting condition.
     
    When you are at rest, a fairly small percentage of your total blood volume is directed to your muscles, but during exercise, as much as 90 percent of the heart’s output is directed to the muscles.
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    That’s why it is so important to bring your heart rate down slowly.
     
    At the end of your workout session, continue exercising at a low level so that you provide a smooth transition from an elevated heart rate back down to your normal resting rate.
     
    In a nutshell, cooling down for five to seven minutes is a safety tool that keeps your heart from overworking.
     
    Trust me on this one as well, nothing good happens when you overwork your heart.
     
    Taking care of ourselves and exercising on most days of the week is very important for us all.
     
    Please remember getting great results from exercise doesn’t just come from an overage of tiring energy expenditure, but instead involves, more importantly, a balance of efficient physical activity, nutrition, rest, hydration, vitamins and including recovery tools like warming up, cooling down and stretching that keep us healthy, feeling good, active and performing well every day, for the rest of our long lives.
     
    Until next week, please make it a healthy and nutritious day.
     
    To get started on healthy weight loss and nutrition products, stop by Reggie’s Personal Training and Nutrition, 104 E. Main, Downtown Shawnee, or call Reggie at 405-613-0237.

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