Pre-exercise warm up and post exercise cool downs are usually ignored and their importance is overlooked by a lot of people. Fitness experts and athletes have been long time proponents of a proper warm up and a cool down. I must admit, I skip it from time to time. Like a lot of people I find it boring and that it takes away valuable time from more fun and exciting activities.
However, after reading several articles and going back to my university textbooks on subject I will no longer be skipping a warm up and a cool down. Without getting into detailed science behind it, warm up is important because it gets your mind and body ready for the workout.
Warming up diverts blood to your muscles and preps your energy systems. This way your body will endure less stress, your energy system don’t have to play catch-up, and you are able to optimize your workout. Cool down is important because it helps your body return to pre-exercise state. Opposite of the warm up, during the cool down your circulatory system redistributes blood back to organs and other parts of the body. This prevents the blood pooling, aids in oxygen debt reduction in cells, and reduces stress on cardiorespiratory system.