Getting your body prepared for exercise is very important, if you don't warm up, you are more likely to get injured particularly if you don't usually exercise.
A warm up should be a minimum of 10 minutes long
- Raise your pulse rate (jogging, light rowing)
- Do some gentle static stretching, head to toe (hold each stretch for 10 seconds)
- Do some dynamic stretches, these can be sport and activity specific - for Rugby twisting, vertical and horizontal movements.
Why should you cool down?
- It minimises muscles soreness
- It prevents the build up of lactic acid which can be painful if extensive
- You allow your body to gradually return to resting rate
- Prevent injury
You should cool down with decreased intensity, for example a slow jog down to a fast walk.
Stretching is very important when cooling down and you should try and hold each stretch for about 15 seconds.