1. The Importance of a Warm-Up & Cool-Down


Before participating in any form of physical activity it is essential you prepare your body. A warm-up routine is important for many reasons including:

  • Increasing heart rate to prepare the body for exercise or physical activity
  • Increasing the circulation of blood flow, which increases the delivery of oxygen to the working muscles
  • Ensuring muscles are supple and pliable, improving flexibility
  • Important as a form of mental preparation
  • Reducing the risk of injuries

More specifically, a “dynamic” warm-up is recommended. A dynamic warm-up involves continuous movement and prepares the muscles in a more sport-specific manner.

Watch the instructional video below of an examples of a dynamic warm-up


Additionally, after a workout it is important you take the time to cool-down. The cool-down period consists of gradually returning your body to its resting state. A good cool-down provides many benefits, including:

  • Removing waste products, such as lactic acid, from the muscles and preventing cramp
  • Reducing muscles soreness and stiffness
  • Preventing blood pooling and recirculating blood back to the heart, muscles, and brain
  • Preparing the body to for the next workout, whether that be the next day or in a week

Stretching is recommended during the cool down period, as it improves range of motion. There are two types of stretching you should consider:

  • Static Stretching – involves holding a stretch which is comfortable but challenging for a period of 10-30 seconds.
  • Passive Stretching – includes the use of an external force to achieve the stretch. This could be accomplished through a partner, stretching device, or a resistance band.

Watch the instructional videos below on examples of stretches.

Arm Stretches

Leg Stretches

Seated Stretches


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Ch. 5 - Fitness Copyright © by UGA PEDB Program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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