What is a warm up
Warming up is important before exercising to steadily increase the heart rate and reduce the risk of injury. This prepares the body for exercising, increases our core temperature, lubricates our joints, increases the elasticity of our muscles, improves the speed and force of muscular contractions and improves performance . It shouldn’t be challenging enough to cause fatigue and affect your performance in the main workout.
How to warm up
It is recommended that the warm-up should last between 5-10 minutes of exercising with an intensity of 40-60% of heart rate reserve. For muscular warm-ups, the intensity should start around 30% and increase to 70% of 1RM .
What is cooling down
Cooling down after exercise is important to return the body to homeostasis. We gradually decrease the activity through low-intensity exercise and stretching.
Other benefits include:
- It slowly decreases the heart rate
- Prevents blood pooling (the heart rate drops too quickly and affects the ability to move blood away from the muscles, which includes toxins)
- Improves flexibility
It is recommended the cooldown should last 5-10 minutes with medium to low intensity.
 Bishop, 2003. Fradkin et al. 2010. Aguilar et al. 2012
 https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/40/are-the-warm-up-and-cool-down-portions-of-a-workout-really-that-important American College of Sports Medicine 2014- General principles of exercise prescription
 American College of Sports Medicine 2014 – General principles of exercise prescription