Vital Vitality Quick Tip Sheet on Workout Warm up & Warm down

For many reasons, the quality of your workout warm-up frequently determines the quality of your workout!

Be sure you get a 10 to 15 minute warm up in BEFORE your session for maximum resistance training benefits!

Moderate pace cardiovascular exercise increases blood pressure, increases heart rate, and increases blood flow to the extremities.  It also contracts arteries to the stomach to shunt blood flow away from the stomach and out to the extremities.   This increases blood pressure and flushes the limbs (arms & legs) with nutrient rich blood … quite literally warming them up!   

Warm muscles are more pliable, less susceptible to injury, and perform better than cold muscles.   Unfortunately, the whole process takes up to 15 minutes to complete and there are no short cuts – which is why we tend to be so adamant about arriving early enough for your session to complete a proper warm up.  Skip the whole process, or cut it short, and we need to spend part of the session completing warm up process to avoid possible cramping, or injury to ‘cold’ muscle groups.  So, to get the most out of your session, plan for starting your warm-up no later than 10 minutes before your session appointment!

Once finished with your session, it’s time to reverse the entire process!  As you exercise, various energy sources are tapped to produce the energy required to exercise.    This produces lactic acid and lactate – both of which are responsible for that muscle ‘burn’ you feel when your trainer demands those last two reps to completely fatigue a muscle group.   While your body will eventually metabolize this lactate accumulation, a proper warm down accelerates the elimination process.

Because of this, the warm down part of your daily workout is the perfect place for your daily cardiovascular program!   Most of your cardiovascular work will be 30 minutes or longer, but be sure to complete a proper 10 minute warm down at a minimum for maximum results!

Moderate intensity cardiovascular effort immediately following your workout significantly:

  1. Reduces time to recovery to rebuild muscle tissues;
  2. Assists with replenishing immediately available energy stores; and
  3. Minimizes subsequent muscle soreness.

Stretching has a similar benefit.

A proper warm down also assists with the gradual relaxation of constricted stomach arteries, so take care of your heart with your workout warm down!

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