Even when I am rushed for time I always try to do a warm up prior to exercise and a cool down after. I used to think they were optional but now I realize the importance of preparing the body for exercise, physically and psychologically, and returning it to normal after and the sessions go much better when I follow those guidelines. It also makes stretching at the end easier.
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Next time you drive to your favorite fitness center for a workout, park as far from the front door as possible. I see people at my local 24 Hour fitness center driving in circles looking for a close spot. Why? Try to break this habit for the gym at least, and you may end up breaking it for good!
If your gym is within a mile, walk to it for a nice warm up and cool down.
I live just a short 10 min walk from my gym, so rather than going to the gym on the way home from work, I park the car at home and then walk to and from my workout! It sneaks in a bit extra time to think, warm up and cool down!
I've started adding an "errand" I can walk to onto my trips to the gym -- for example, on the way there I'll walk to the cash machine, or on the way home I'll walk to the drugstore to pick up a prescription. It's a great way to do a little bit more warm up or cool-down...and even on days when I don't have time to go to the gym, if I can get in a walking errand, at least I can count that as a little bit of cardio! 224
A side benefit of this is that I can track how fast I can get to and from things in my neighborhood for future reference: "Oh, the bank? Ten minute walk from my place."
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