September 3, 2009
From start to finish….
Warm-up and cool-down activities should be an essential part of all exercise programs. The purpose of warm-up activities is to prepare the body, especially the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems, for the conditioning or stimulus phase of the exercise session. The cool-down phase assures that venous return to the heart is maintained in the face of significant amounts of blood going to the previously working muscles.
Let’s break it down.
Light aerobic endurance activities, coupled with activities, provide the fundamental basis for both the warm-up and cool-down phases. The length of the warm-up and cool-down periods depends on several factors, including the type of activity engaged in during the conditioning period, the level of intensity of those activities, and the age and fitness level of the participant. In general, the warm-up and cool-down phases should last approximately five to ten minutes each.
Pressed for time?
If you have less time available to work out than usual, it is recommended that the time allotted for the conditioning phase of the workout be reduced, while retaining sufficient time for both the warm-up and cool-down phases.
Jessica Matthews, MS, E-RYTContributor
Jessica Matthews, M.S., E-RYT is assistant professor of exercise science at Miramar College. As a leading fitness expert, writer and educator Jessica is a regular contributor to numerous publications, including Shape and Oprah.com. She holds a B.S. in physical education teacher education from Coastal Carolina University and M.S. in physical education from Canisius College. She is a certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor and Health Coach through the American Council on Exercise (ACE) as well as an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) through Yoga Alliance and trained stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga instructor. Prior to teaching at Miramar, Jessica worked full-time ACE, serving in a number of key roles including exercise physiologist, certification director and senior health and fitness editor. Her past work also includes serving as aquatics director at Conway Medical Wellness and Fitness Center and designing health and physical education curriculum for grades K-12. Full Bio Jessica Matthews »