Health Advocate Blog

What you should be doing before and after exercise

Did you know that before you start working out, you should be preparing your body for exercise? Did you also know that after your workout is complete, you should be easing your body back to normal? If you’re not currently warming up or cooling down before your workout, it is important that you start. Keep reading for more information!

Warming up: Aim to warm up for at least 5-10 minutes prior to exercise

Including a warm-up in your exercise routine is the best-known method for preventing injuries. Prepare for any activity by starting slowly and easing into it. When you warm up, you ready your muscles and connective tissues by generating heat through movement. Warm-up exercises also help prepare your cardiovascular system for your workout activity.

Common warm-ups include:

  • Walking
  • Marching in place
  • Bodyweight squats
  • Light jogging
  • Jumping jacks
  • Lunges
  • Jumping rope
  • Push-ups
  • Planks

Cooling down: Aim to perform cool-down exercises for 5-10 minutes after your workout

After completing your workout, it is important to bring your body back to (or close to) its normal state by allowing your body the opportunity to slow your heart rate and return to its normal temperature. Stopping your exercise too abruptly without cooling down may cause you to feel faint or dizzy, or even pass out!

Common cool-downs include:

Next time you work out, make sure to include both warm-up and cool-down activities!