Warm Up, Stupid

Stretching, warming up, and cooling down are essential to getting a good and safe workout as an adult.

By Susan Howard

When I was in my twenties, I remember age-old advice given to me: before working out, always warm up for at least 5 minutes and always cool down and stretch for 5 minutes after working out.  This and “wash behind your ears” were solid truths I chose to ignore.

What a waste of time, I thought. Why not just workout hard, jump on the treadmill, run 3 miles and be done with it?  I don’t have all this time to be bringing my body temperature up and slowly building to a run. Yawn.

That was then.  If you are 20 and reading this, you are probably okay.

But, when you get into your 30’s and 40’s a warm up is really essential, especially if you have been working out consistently.  As an adult, your connective tissues get tight from over use and repetitive contraction.

You must warm up, or you are likely to suffer a pull, strain or even a tear.

On this note, if you have been on the sidelines for a few weeks, don’t start back up to the level you previously were at.  Ease back into getting in shape.  You don’t have to do it all at once.

Also cool down! It is worth it to spend the extra 5 minutes in the gym, stretching, so you can rock out on the next workout.

Boring, I get it, but so is going to PT (physical therapy).

Stay Ready.

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