Exercising or any physical activity in general is one of the things that makes us healthier and keeps us fit. Recent studies have shown that people who simply walk for a few miles every day tend to have a lower risk of suffering from cancer as well as from cardiovascular disease. Still, in order to make the most out of your work out and reduce the chances of you getting injured, you need to prepare for the session as well as to end it in the right way. Indeed, the warming up and cooling down are two essential parts of the exercising program.
You need to prepare your body for the stress it will incur during the training session. The simple aerobic exercises such as jogging on the spot improve the blood flow to your muscles and joints. In this way they are ready to take withstand more pressure and to work better. You do not have to just jog, jumping on the spot also helps. If you are using a step you can simply go up and down. It is important for you not to make too abrupt movements. Also, do not get carried away doing the warm up exercises.
It is also a good idea for you to prepare the skeletal muscles especially if you are going to do weight training. In order to prepare your spine and lower back, put your feet apart (the distance should equal the same distance between our shoulders) and your hands on your waist. Then bend down so that your torso forms a 90 degree angle with your legs. Start making circular movements with your torso clockwise and then the other way round. Do circular movements with your arms and hands. These are particularly beneficial when you lift weights.
Warming up and cooling down go hand in hand. After completing your work out session you should stretch your muscles. This makes the training effect much more beneficial. You can do the same exercises, but you might also want to add abs and legs workouts. Doing some sit ups and even some pushups is a great idea. Many people find that yoga is extremely beneficial for stretching as it is relaxing and does not require much effort. No matter what type of exercises you choose, you have to do them slowly letting your muscles feel the strain.
Even if you have to have a shorter training session, do not forget that you cannot start without first doing a warm up and cool down.