Warming up before exercise and cooling down after are just as important as the exercise itself. By properly warming up the muscles and joints with low-level aerobic movement for 5 to 10 minutes, one may avoid injury and build endurance over time. Cooling down after exercise by walking slowly, then stretching muscles, may also prevent strains and blood pressure fluctuation.
Fred K. Berger, MD, Addiction and Forensic Psychiatrist, Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.