Once you’re all set to exercise, it’s tempting to rush right
into it at full speed. But without properly warming up, you run the risk of
injury and burnout, which will make it impossible to work out. Even if you’re
pressed for time, warming up is the first essential step in any exercise
routine. Why does it really matter, and what’s the best way to warm up
physically and mentally? These are the questions that we hope to answer today.
Why Should You Warm Up?
The primary purposes of warming up are to enhance performance
and prevent injury. It allows your muscles, bones, and the joints to loosen up,
promotes the flow of blood and oxygen to the muscles, which makes muscles work
more efficiently, and enhances performance.
Warming up increases body temperature, which reduces the
potential for muscle and connective injuries. It also gradually increases your
heart rate and circulation, and prepares your body for physical activity of any
intensity, thus staving off any potential injury.
Being mentally prepared is just as important as being
physically prepared to perform your fitness routine. If you’re mentally
prepared, you’ll be able to improve your technique, skills, and coordination.
How Do You Warm Up?
The way you warm up is based on your fitness level, and the
goal of your particular workout. According to the
National Strength and Conditioning Association, there are primarily four components to a
proper warm-up—mobility, pulse-raise, dynamic stretching, and movement
Mobility involves opening up the joints needed for the
workout, and warms up the soft tissues—muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia.
The pulse-raise consists of three to ten minutes of moderate intensity exercise,
gradually increasing in effort to meet the demands of the actual workout.
Next, dynamic stretching takes the joints through a full
range of motion. Finally, you’ll begin practicing the movements necessary to
execute your routine at a lower intensity. This will help you build muscle
memory and get in the rhythm of the routine. Ultimately, your complete set of warm-ups prior to exercise should
be roughly 5-10 minutes.
We hope you understand the value and importance of warming
up, and how it benefits your health and ability to perform at your best. For
more fitness tips and ideas stay tuned right here, and if you’re looking for
sleek and smart new and used equipment to furnish your home or commercial gym,
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