Exercise Sequence

An exercise sequence to follow to improve exercise performance and reduce the risk of injury is outlined in Figure 4-3. Note that it includes warming-up, stretching, and cooling-down.

Figure 4-3. Recommended Exercise Sequence

Figure 4-3. Recommended Exercise Sequence

*Refer to the exercises found in Levels 2 and 3 of the Physical Activity Pyramid. **For more information on stretching see Chapter 9.

♦ A warm-up gradually increases muscle temperature, metabolism, and blood flow to prepare you for exercise and lengthen short, tight muscles. Warm-up for at least 5 minutes before exercise.

♦ A cool-down is important because it may help reduce muscle soreness after your workout. Cool-down for at least 5 minutes by exercising at a light pace using the same muscles just exercised.

♦ Rest is an exceedingly important factor in recovery from strenuous workouts. Hard workout days should be followed by easy workout days or rest to give your body time to fully recover.

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