Are you skipping your warm-ups prior to exercise? You are not alone as many people skip the warm-up entirely prior to exercising for various reasons; they may be pressed for time or for other reasons. If you are guilty of this then you are missing the most essential part of the workout. Every good workout should have warm-up. You must warm-up your body to exercise. A proper warm-up prepares the body for the workout both physiological and psychological.
What is a warm-up? A warm-up consists of performing slow aerobic exercise raising the body temperature and respiration rate. It is the process of preparing the body; going from being in normal condition to workout condition. The body temperature is gradually raised thus increasing the temperature of the working muscles preparing the body for the strenuous exercises to come and help mentally prepare and focus on exercise.
Benefits of a warm-up. Warm-up improves blood flow and oxygen to the heart and working muscles; increase muscle flexibility, reduce muscle injury and may help with reducing fatigue and improved endurance.
Example of warm-up exercises may include:
Walking, jogging, skipping, jump rope, stationary bike, and exercises similar to the exercises in the workout but performed at a slower pace. A jogger could warm up with walking, slow jog or walk jog and maybe even a few sprints. For circuit weight training you could start with low aerobic exercise like walking, cycling jump rope or jogging in place and begin the training sessions with a set of high repetition, low weight exercises.
It is important to start out gradually performing the aerobic exercise and then increase intensity, however the intensity should be below that of the actual workout routine activity. Warm-up exercises and intensities may vary; just choose exercises and intensity levels best for you and the activity to be performed. The duration of a warm-up can be from 5 to 10 minutes. After the warm-up follow with a flexibility or stretching component to complete your warm up. It’s important to never stretch a cold muscle as this can lead to injury such as strains and tears.