I don’t know about you, but I struggle to squeeze in daily exercise. Whereas I do have a fitness routine (which is punctuated with several hours per week of marathon training) I also mother a child, work, run a household, and basically try to keep my head above water on a daily basis. Needless to say, when I do have time to get to the gym I don’t have the luxury of spending hours upon hours there. I need to get in, get out, and get on with my schedule.
In doing so I often forget to complete basic portions of a well-balanced workout. The following fitness reminders are ones many of us could benefit from incorporating into our workouts:
Stretching. It’s so basic, yet many people don’t place stretching very high on their exercise checklist. Stretching is essential in that it helps prevent injuries, increases your range of motion, and improves coordination.
Warm-Up. Like stretching most people ignore the warm-up and move directly into a full-blown workout. Try to resist this urge to dive head first into high intensity exercises. Warming up is critical in that it raises your body temperature and helps reduce muscle injuries and it assists in muscle performance.
Cool-Down. Likewise, cooling down after a rigorous workout is also critical. When you follow a tight time schedule it’s tough to fit a cool-down into your workout, but once you make it a habit you’ll quickly see (and feel) the benefits of doing so. It’s important to cool-down, even if it’s for five short minutes. Cooling down allows a gradual decrease in heart rate and blood pressure. In addition, fitness experts say studies prove that exercisers who include a cool-down are more likely to continue to exercise because the last thing they remember about their session is the relaxing pace experienced in their cool-down.
Michele Cheplic writes about red-hot celebrities in POP CULTURE, fiery topics in PARENTS, sizzling recipes in FOOD, calorie burning exercises in FITNESS, and hot new kid-friendly crafts in FUN. Check out all of her articles here.