Fundamentals matter with exercise

Reggie Grovey

Hello, fitness enthusiasts.

It’s time for your trainer to give you more information that will help you achieve 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 youth sports, a young adult weekend warrior, a division one college athlete,  professional athlete, or a senior citizen looking to stay independent, healthy and active for the rest of your life, this information is for you, and should be included in your health 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 with schedules. 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 makes us rush into the gym, and start exercising  without properly  preparing  our mind, 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 and recovery from your muscles, the warm up is critical.

Your warm up 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. 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 back to your normal resting rate.

Taking care of ourselves, exercising on most days of the week, and developing healthy rest and recovery habits is very important for us all. Remember, getting great results from exercise doesn’t just come from an overage of energy expenditure, but instead includes moderate work, and including recovery systems like warming up prior to exercise, cooling down after exercise 5-10 minutes, followed by stretching, keeps us healthy, active and performing well for the rest of our long lives!

Until next week, please make it a healthy and nutritious week!  To get started on healthy nutrition products call Reggie’s Personal Training and Nutrition, (405) 613-0237 to schedule your appointment, Downtown Shawnee, 104 E. Main.  Ask about the 24 day challenge that jumpstarts weight loss, improves health, increases active energy, builds muscle, and tones you up!