Warming up and cooling down before and after an exercise regime allows exercisers to gain flexibility, prepare their muscles and gain range of motion in their joints. This is important to staying healthy and injury free while exercising.
Warming up includes any type of exercise that gently stretches out muscles and joints before rigorous aerobic exercise. Stretching, walking, riding a stationary bike slowly or doing gentle calisthenics are all classified as warm-up exercises. Virtually any exercise that slowly raises the heart rate can be classified as a warm-up exercise. Cool-down exercises gently lower a person's heart rate. Examples of cool-down exercises include stretching and walking.