NCTV Episode 28

Continuing with the series of bitesize health tip videos which can be found here on my YouTube Channel, this episode, includes:-

  • A wardrobe malfunction
  • Dynamic warmup suggestions
  • How to cooldown properly
  • Advice on static stretches
  • Timings, durations and frequency

Transcript

If you’d prefer to read the content within, rather than watch the video, then feel free to read the transcript, as follows:-

Hello and welcome to NCTV Episode 27 and this one is all about injury prevention in the form of warming up and cooling down before and after exercise respectively.

So it is fairly common knowledge that before you partake in exercise, you should both warm up before and cool down afterwards to reduce your risk of injury.

However, as a wise man once said, what’s easy to do is easy not to do and many fall foul of not going through at least a basic routine.

There are obviously different routines required for different activities but if we take running for example, it’s good to start with a dynamic warm up, meaning a warm up involving a series of low to moderate intensity movements.

These may be around 20 arm and legs swings, star jumps or burpees, whatever floats your boat. This helps to steadily pump blood to the muscles readying them for the increased demands to come.

Notice that I’ve not suggested static stretches first and that is because you are more likely to do harm than good if you stretch a cold muscle.

For the next step of your warmup it’s good up the heartrate further to increase blood flow, nutrients and oxygen delivered to your muscles as well as increasing their extensibility.

This may be in the form of a light jog (slowly increasing and decreasing your speed), skipping or a brisk walk, maybe even walking or jogging with high knees or doing butt kicks. The whole process should ideally last around about 10 minutes, before commencing your workout or exercise.

So your exercise is underway and if you were running for example, it’s important to slowly reduce your heartrate before suddenly stopping or sitting down.

Slow yourself down gradually say from a run to a brisk walk and then a slower walk and your heartrate will return to normal with no ill effects such as light headedness. Again, aim for around 10 minutes from the moment of high intensity to rest, to allow for this process.

Following a period of heavy use, your muscles tend to get tight as they cool down, so at the end of your workout, that’s the time to perform your static stretches.

This process tends to get skipped because people are tired and want to just crash out but this stage is key if you want to maintain flexibility and decrease the post exercise soreness over the next day or two.

There are differing views as to how long you should hold a stretch for and how many times to do it on a muscle, some say three lots of 10-12s, others either once or three times for 30-45s and others even longer. The general consensus seems to be at least one set of 30s per muscle but ideally 3 sets for good measures.

If it’s post running, then the main muscles to focus on for your stretching would be the legs; such as your calves, hamstring, quads, adductors, glutes and hip flexors. With other workouts the muscles in focus would of course need adapting to in accordance to the ones you used.

To perform a correct stretch, push it to the point of a deep, comfortable stretch, exhale into it but don’t take it to the point of pain.

And one final tip, be sure to hold it as a consistent stretch and don’t bounce it.

So there you have it for this week’s bitesize bit to help your health flourish, by for now.