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Healtheuniversity > English > Diabetes College > Get Active > Aerobic Exercise > Warm Up and Cool Down

Warm Up and Cool Down

Safety Alert!

If you take insulin or a medicine from the Secretagogue class of medicines you are at risk for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). You are more likely to get low blood sugar when you first start doing a new exercise program or when you progress your exercise program. 

  • Check your blood sugar before and after doing exercise. 
  • Always carry a fast-acting carbohydrate with you (such as sugar tablets, juice or pop).

You must warm up your body before doing exercise and cool down your body after.

What Is A Warm Up?

Warm-up means starting to do your exercise slowly.

The purpose of your warm-up is to get your blood flowing to your muscles and prepare your body to do exercise. Warm-up also allows your heart rate and blood pressure to rise slowly. This is important so that your exercise intensity (how hard you are working) feels more comfortable.

Match your warm-up to your exercise.

  • If you are going to walk for exercise, your warm-up is walking. Take the first 5 to 10 minutes of your walk at a slow and casual pace.
  • If you are cycling, your warm-up is cycling. Take the first 5 to 10 minutes of cycling at a slow pace.

What Is A Cool Down?

It is also important to cool down. The cool-down is at the end of your exercise.

Finish your exercise with 5 to 10 minutes of similar, slow activity.

Your cool-down helps lower your heart rate and blood pressure to resting levels. The cool-down prevents you from feeling dizzy or light headed.

Last Reviewed: 10/16/2016