Warming up and cooling down are often the neglected parts of any exercise routine and are frequently skipped to get to the main workout or showers. Many people mentally ‘switch off’ during the warm-up or cool-down, but this is the best time to gain mental focus. Use my four top tips below to get more from your pre- and post-workout routines.

1 During the warm-up, focus on visualising the workout ahead. Many athletes use this time to mentally sharpen and rehearse performance. Visualise the exercises ahead and see yourself achieving each one successfully.

2 Treat each warm-up and cool-down movement as an exercise in its own right. Take time to learn them and work through them with precision and patience.

3 During the cool-down, focus on achieving a feeling of relaxation by coordinating breathing with movements. Concentrate on each movement and feel your muscles relax into each repetition. Reflect on your workout and be positive about taking a step closer to achieving your goals.

4 Consider the use of music to help; something upbeat and lively is perfect for the warm-up, while something relaxing and of a slower tempo is more suited to the cool-down.

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