Warmups and cooldowns - when and how to do them

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Aug 31, 2013 9:03pm
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I have noticed that many workouts say you should warm up before doing them. In my mind, warmups are for when you practice a sport that is heavy on your bones, joints and heart, like gymnastics for example. I have looked at some warmup workouts, and the way I see it, most of them are either a stretching workout, a cardio workout or a combination of both. However, most casual and moderate workouts are mostly cardio anyway. Do I need to warm up for those or not? I mean, it sounds kind of ridiculous to do jumping jacks in order to prepare for doing jumping jacks...

To make a long story short, I suspect warmups are required in some cases, but not generally. When do you warm up and when do you not? What about cooling down? If I just do twenty minutes of cardio with jumping jacks and burpees, do I have to warm up? Where do you draw the line?