As someone who leads an active lifestyle, you probably already warm-up and stretch before your workouts. Did you know both warming up and cooling down can boost your athletic performance? Using hot and cold therapy with the Thermalon Heat/Cold Compress can help keep your body performing at its highest potential.
How Do Warming-up and Stretching Boost Your Athletic Performance?
Warming-up and stretching are an important part of any workout because they:
- Dilate your blood vessels so that your muscles get more oxygen
- Raise muscle temperatures, helping them become flexible
- Allow you to exercise more efficiently because flexible muscles and joints have a greater range of motion
- Reduce your risk of injury
You can speed up how quickly your muscles and joints warm up by applying a moist heat compress like the Thermalon microwaveable wrap to stiff muscles or joints for 5-10 minutes before stretching. Moist heat works especially well for stiff arthritic joints or chronically-tight backs or necks. Because Thermalon is microwaveable and portable, you could even warm up with the Thermalon neck, shoulder or back wrap in the car as you drive to the gym, your match, or game.
Your Heart Is a Muscle that Needs a Warm-up As Well
After your warm-up and stretching, progress to some low-intensity cardio movements. By slowly raising your heart rate, warm-up cardio minimizes stress on your heart. Examples of low-intensity cardio activities include jogging at a slow pace, jumping rope, or practicing your sport or exercise, just at a lower intensity.
Optimizing Your Cardio Workout After Warming Up
Making your heart and lungs work harder through regular cardio or aerobic exercise is good for your long-term health. That is why doctors advise healthy adults to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise a week or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous activity. Remember that any activity is better than none at all and that every little bit counts.
You can supercharge your regular cardio workout by adding anaerobic training and strength training. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one example of anaerobic training. Anaerobic training builds your endurance.
Strength training is another way to optimize your athletic performance because it changes your bones and muscles to make you healthier and more fit. As we age, we lose muscle mass. Regular strength training keeps our bones strong, guards against unhealthy weight gain from excess body fat, and keeps us injury-free. Strength training also helps reduce the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease.
On your strength training workout days, you may want to consider using a moist heat compress like the Thermalon Heat Wrap as part of your pre-strength warm-up routine. Research shows that warming up muscles with heat therapy before a strength training session may help build muscle mass.
How does Warming Down Optimize Athletic Performance?
Be sure not to lose all the benefits of your super-charged cardio or strength workout by not warming down. Warming down is another name for the cool-down portion of a workout.
Cooling down could be continuing your regular sport or activity at a slower pace or lower intensity for at least 5 or 10 minutes. Or it could be walking at a brisk pace, followed by dynamic stretches and some yoga moves. The more intense your workout, the longer your warm down should be.
The warm down portion of a workout ensures blood carrying oxygen from your lungs continues to flow to your heart. Warming-down helps your body recover faster and more efficiently.The continued blood flow helps remove waste products from your muscles. This reduces your risk of future injury and of muscle soreness the next day.
Use Thermalon Cold Therapy For When You Overdo It
In addition to warming down, the Thermalon Heat/Cold Wrap can also help with post-workout aches and pains. Sometimes after a particularly tough or new type of workout, athletes experience delayed onset muscle soreness. In particular, strength training makes your muscles stronger by causing small micro-tears in muscle fibers. Applying the Thermalon wrap for 5-10 minutes to sore areas will help to reduce swelling, inflammation, and speed healing.
Incorporating Heat and Cold to Your Pre-and Post-Exercise Routines Can Boost Your Workout
Whether we are aging athletes, recovering from an injury or surgery, or just starting out a fitness plan, a pre-and post-workout plan can help us get back in the game. In consultation with your doctor, you can find the correct level of physical activity for you.
Pretreating with moist heat from a Thermalon microwaveable heat compress can help stiff joints feel better during exercise. Treating the occasional aches and pains with the Thermalon cold wrap therapy will speed healing and keep your fitness plan on track.
Including a warm-up and a warm-down routine into your regular exercise plan is one way to stay injury free and get rewarding workout results. The Thermalon Wrap is your all-in-one answer for warming up, warming down, and cooling down. Using its convenient hot and cold therapy where and when you need it most, you can boost your athletic performance, reduce your recovery times, and keep enjoying an active lifestyle.