Warming Up and Cooling Down in Physical Education Classes

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When stepping into the Physical Education and sport setting, it is very common to see teachers and coaches begin their class or practice with static stretching. Teachers and coaches most commonly begin their lesson/practice with static stretching in hopes to help their students prevent injury while participating in their physical activity. Although stretching is an important component to physical activity, there is still one key element that should be executed before stretching; that key element being engaging in a warm up activity. Along with beginning with a warm-up activity, it is important that teachers and coaches have their students end their lesson/practice with a cool-down activity as well. Within this paper, there are many subtopics that will be discussed such as definitions of warm-up/cool-down activities, the various types and benefits of these activities, as well as stretching included with its harms and benefits to physical activity. Being educated in this topic is very important not only in preventing injury for young students and athletes, but also for adults and senior citizens in helping them maintain a healthy and physically active lifestyle. A warm-up activity is defined as a low-level activity that is completed prior to stretching and more strenuous exercise (Avest, 2010). The main purpose of a warm-up activity is to increase heart rate and blood circulation throughout the body. When blood circulation is increased throughout the body, a raise in body and deep muscle temperatures are elevated which in return heat up the muscles, ligaments and tendons in preparation for vigorous activity. Along with increasing blood circulation and body temperature, warm-up activities also helps one mentally and emotion... ... middle of paper ... ...neral and activity specific warm-up protocols. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 11, 279-285. Murphy, J. R., Di Santo, M. C., Alkanani, T., Behm, D. G. (2010) Aerobic activity before and following short duration static stretching improves range of motion and performance vs. a traditional warm-up. Applied Physiology, Nutrition & Metabolism,35(5), 679-690 Avest, E. 2010, November. Warm-up provision in field hockey: a comparison between literature and practice. Unpublished master’s thesis). University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. Faigenbaum, A., and J.E. McFarlane, Jr. 2007. Guidelines implementing a dynamic warm-up for physical education. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 78 (3), 25-28. Shimon, J.M. 2011. Introduction to teaching physical education: principles and strategies. Champaign, IL: Sheridan Books.

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