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Getting started with exercise: preparation, warm up and cool down

This section can help you plan and get the most out of your exercise sessions.

If you are new to exercise read the ‘Getting started’ section in the ‘Before and after exercise fact sheet’ to start, so you can begin with confidence.

Warm up before starting your exercises to get your joints and muscles ready. Warm muscles are less stiff and work more efficiently, so you’ll prevent injury during your exercise routine.

Stretching after exercise helps to increase your flexibility and can help to reduce injury. Taking time to cool down at the end of your routine will help to return your breathing and heart rate back to resting levels.