By Betina Gozo
Why your warm-up and cool-down is just as important as the rest of your work out.
We all have movement patterns that we fall into again and again, accidentally training our bodies to move in an imbalanced way. Maybe you always cross your left leg over your right when you sit. Or your body weight is shifted a little all day when you’re at your desk so you can use your mouse. Or maybe you always run the same route at the same pace. It makes sense that if we teach our bodies to move the same way every day, we’re creating imbalances – and those imbalances of course can carry over to how we move when we exercise.
“Doing the mobility moves and active stretches before and after the workout help your body be stable and flexible.”
That’s why mobility is so important for retraining our bodies in the proper ways to move. It may be tempting to just do the heart-racing part of the workouts, thinking you just need to burn the most calories, and skip the Warm-Up and Cool-Down sections. Maybe these parts feel less exciting, or maybe they’re not comfortable because you’re asking your body to stretch and move in different ways...but that’s exactly why they’re so important to incorporate!
Doing the mobility moves and active stretches before and after the workout helps your body be stable and flexible. The warm-up makes your body more ready for the movements you're going to do in the rest of the workout, so you're not overcompensating or stuck in those uneven patterns that you've taught yourself through other repetitive motions or positions. The cool-down sets you up for success for how you move for the rest of the day.
So make sure you do the warm-up and cool-down for every workout. It’s just as important as the heart-pumping sections in between! Think of it as bringing balance to your life by bringing balance to your body.