Here is the second blog the Physiotherapy Department have provided in a series designed to help all our participants prepare for this year's mini marathon. We hope you enjoy the series, which also includes blogs from the Department of Clinical Nutrition.
By Julie Jordan, MISCP, Department of Physiotheraphy, St. James's Hospital
Warm Up, Stretching, and Cool Down
It's easy to overlook the importance of a good warm up. After all, it's just the opening act before the real thing. But if you skip or skimp on your warm up, you risk poor performance and injury.The objective of a warm up is to increase body temperature and blood flood to the muscles and joints of the limbs in preparation for training. The best way to warm up your tissues is to keep moving.
Your warm up should last for about 10-15 minutes and should:
Stretching and cool down
After a workout many of us simply stop! But remember allowing your body to properly cool down after a workout is just as important if not more so than warming up. Cooling down after a workout enables your heart and breathing rate to slow back to normal. After walking/jogging/running your muscles tend to shorten in response to the workload of the session. Static stretching will restore muscles to their normal length; this will reduce your injury risk. 10 minutes of a cool down and stretching is a valuable investment in your training as it reduces muscle soreness and joint stiffness and helps to prepare your body for your next training session.
Cool down by slowing your activity, but not stopping it completely. Keep going at the reduced pace for about 5 minutes, gradually slowing down every 1 - 2 minutes, until you are ready to stop
Attached is a Stretching Information Poster developed by the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP), which provides instructions and demonstrations of stretches for your major muscle groups.
Next time: Minimise the risk of injury
St. James’s Hospital Foundation
St. James’s Hospital
Telephone 01 428 4086