Did you make a resolution to increase your activity this year?

Integrating proper warm-ups and cool-downs to your exercise routine is important to help prevent injuries and get you moving at your best.

Performing a warm-up before an exercise session helps to prepare your body for movement. A warm-up increases blood flow to muscles, raises your body temperature, and gradually raises your heart rate. The increased blood flow and temperature improves the flexibility in your muscles allowing for more efficient movement.

One example of a warm-up is walking at a slow pace with a gradual increase to your chosen walking speed over 5-10 minutes.

Another warm-up exercise that we like at MPT is marching. You can either march in place (holding the counter for balance if you need it) or take marching steps. If you are confident in your balance try to add in alternating arm movements with marching.

Cool-downs allow for a gradual return to your resting heart rate.

An example of a cool-down activity is walking slowly for 5-10 minutes focusing on controlled breathing in the nose and out the mouth.

Including diaphragmatic breathing and stretching as part of your cool-down helps return your nervous system to a restful state after exercise. At MPT we like ending a workout with child’s pose (see the image above). If comfortable, aim to hold for 90 seconds as you gently breathe in the nose and out the mouth.

We look forward to helping you achieve your wellness goals.

TeaMPT: Rachel, Julie, Christine, Yoshi, Liz, Heidi, Kasandra, Eve, and Toni

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