Running for Beginners, pt. 3 – Warm Up and Cool Down by Sue Bary, Certified Health Coach
Why is it important to warm up and cool down? A good warm up dilates your blood vessels, ensuring that your muscles are well supplied with oxygen. It also raises your muscle temperature for optimal flexibility and efficiency. By slowly raising your heart rate, the warm up also helps minimize stress on your heart when you start your run.
Just as critical, the cool down keeps the blood flowing throughout the body. Stopping suddenly can cause light-headedness because your heart rate and blood pressure drop rapidly. Winding down slowly allows them to fall gradually.
Difficulty rating for a warm up and cool down: Easy Time required: 5-10 minutes for warm up; 5-10 minutes for cool down
Here’s How: It’s not a good idea to stretch cold muscles, so don’t start with stretching. Do about 5-10 minutes of light aerobic exercise to loosen up your muscles and warm you up for your run. Try walking briskly, marching, jogging slowly, or cycling on a stationary bike. Make sure you don’t rush your warm up.