The Importance of Warming Up before Activity, and Cooling Down. 23-6-2019


The purpose of a warm up is to:

*Increase body temperature                                                                                                                                                   *Increase respitation and heart rate                                                                                                                                 *Gradually increase exercise intensity                                                                                                                                 *Prepare muscles through dynamic stretching for activity.

*Reduce the risk of injury


The purpose of a cool-down is to:

*Lower body temperature.                                                                                                                                                     *Remove excess norepinephrine (which can cause irregular heart beats)                                                                               *Continue the pumping action of muscles on veins, helping the circulation in the removal of metabolic wastes


*Pooling of blood                                                                                                                                                                     *Sluggish circulation                                                                                                                                                                     *Slow removal of waste products                                                                                                                                       *Cramping or soreness


Avoiding a proper warm-up before activity or a run can have many negative consequences.

  1. Blood circulation within the muscles you plan on using during your activity is not sufficient and will slow the performance of the initial stages of the activity.
  2. Depending on the intensity of the activity, breathing will become laboured early on, until the body and muscles adapts to the intensity.
  3. If you’re of a competitive nature, there will be an increased risk of injury, typically hamstring and calf if a runner, and also upper body muscles if a gym goer, if a warm-up (a gradual increase in exercise intensity) is not included before the activity/run/sporting contest.
  4. The latest Research has concluded that  there IS a beneficial effect on muscle preparation, for a physical activity event or sporting event. when static stretching and dynamic stretching, are performed at low volumes e.g. holding the stretch for no more than 6 seconds, and repeating no more than 6 times for each lower and upper limb muscle group, after an initial 5 minute aerobic warm-up.

Terenure 5 miler 2017: The SSF warm-up