Before and After Games

WARM UP AND COOL DOWN: Several clinical studies have shown that a good warm up program can prevent injuries by 50% or more and enhance performance. The warm-up is to prepare the body for the subsequent activity, and should consist of a combination of stretches, starting with the large muscle groups. Also include dynamic movements e.g. jogging, twisting and gradually increasing the intensity. The warm up should be sufficient to produce some mild sweating without fatigue and be approximately one quarter of your total exercise time. The effects of a warm up can last up-to 30 minutes, so don’t warm up too early. Below is a guide in order of exercises, of a suitable warm up for football:

3 minutes jogging
5 minutes stretching all major muscle groups in body
5 minutes gentle kicking of a ball between players – gradually increasing intensity
5 minutes quick burst specific exercises eg 1 or 2 touch football in a box
3 minutes of short drills of short distance sprinting / jumping

Finally it is just as important to do a cool down after exercise to help return the body to pre-exercise conditions. This can consist of a gentle jog for a few minutes to gradually lower the heart and breathing rate and also include stretching to help relax the hard worked muscles.

If, after reading these guidelines you have any questions concerning physical activity/exercise related health issues please forward to me and I will do my best to answer them in further issues.