Exercising is a great way to keep yourself fit and at the top of your game. Combine that with good eating habits, proper sleep and a positive environment you can be unstoppable. There is something however that might get in the way of this and that is often overlooked; Warming up before you work out. Forgetting to warm up can be the difference between a menial work out and a great one, or a great work out and injury. Many fitness related injuries occur because of lack of preparation. You should stretch, loosen up your body and ease your way into a routine, jumping right in can lead to strains, muscle tears or broken bones. Benefits of warming up include increasing your body temperature at a comfortable rate, increasing the blood flow to your muscles, increases the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles, which builds stamina and it helps to mentally prepare yourself for the work out ahead.
What is equally as important and overlooked is cooling down after your workout. Just as you need to gradually prepare your body for the exertion you’re going to put it through you should gradually bring it back down to your normal rate as well. This can mean slowly jogging/walking, performing some dynamic stretching or doing part of your routine but at a slower and slowing pace. Stretching after a workout can improve flexibility over time. Cooling down afterwards can also prevent pooling of the blood in the extremities which can lead to dizziness and/or fainting.