Track and field is a popular sport among young adults. However, this sport can lead to injury if proper warm up and cool down activities are not done. Warming up properly allows your heart rate to raise gradually and stretch your muscles while preparing for more vigorous physical activity. Cooling down properly allows your body to return back to it’s pre-workout state. 

So what should your warm up consist of? Your warm up should take around 10 to 20 minutes; 30 minutes would be ideal. A good warm up can include a light jog or some time spent on a bicycle. Basically anything that gets your heart rate up and loosens up your muscles can be a good warm up.

Cooling down properly is also just as important as warming up. The goal of a cool down is to lower your heart rate, body temperature, and breathing rate to pre-exercise levels. To properly cool down, you’ll want to stretch the specific muscles you just worked out. Spend 5 minutes stretching target muscles you just exercised and it will help to alleviate future soreness and increase your flexibility, lessening your chance for injuries.

If you don’t allow yourself time for a sufficient warm up and cool down, your body will likely pay the consequences. Often, sports related injuries can be prevented by prioritizing these two important aspects of a workout. Take the time to lower your chance of sports injuries this track and field season.