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how to warm up and cool down

Warm up right before you plan to start your workout. In general, warm up by focusing first on large muscle groups, such as your hamstrings. Then you can do exercises more specific to your sport or activity, if necessary.

Begin by doing the activity and movement patterns of your chosen exercise, but at a low, slow pace that gradually increases in speed and intensity. This is called a dynamic warm-up. A warm-up may produce mild sweating, but generally won’t leave you fatigued.

Here are some examples of warm-up activities:

To warm up for a brisk walk, walk slowly for five to 10 minutes.
To warm up for a run, walk briskly for five to 10 minutes.
To warm up for swimming, swim slowly at first and then pick up the tempo as you’re able.

Before you jump on the elliptical machine or hit the running trails, consider doing a brief warm-up first. And, think about following your workout with a quick cool-down session. Sure, a warm-up and cool-down may add a few minutes to your exercise routine, but they also might reduce stress on your heart and other muscles.