Importance of Warm Up
Importance of Warm Up
When you have to fit an exercise routine into your already busy schedule, you might be tempted to simply skip the warm up routine, even though you've heard horror stories about people getting injured while working out. Three words: don't do that. When you skip your warm up, you are not only putting your body at risk for personal injury, but you are also making the workout more difficult and less effective. For the best results, it is important to warm up every time you work out.
Several changes takes place in the body once physical activity is initiated. A person's respiratory rate, blood flow, and oxygen and nutrient levels delivered to the cells increases. The rate of increase should be regulated in a steady pace to prepare the body for the physical stress that exercise will demand. If one foregoes this priming procedure, the body will function less efficiently and the workout will produce less quality results.
Warming up prior to any physical activity does a number of beneficial things, but primarily, its main purpose is to prepare the body and mind for more strenuous activity. The following reasons will help you better understand the importance of a good warm up:
- Warm up helps in breaking down the chemical complex of oxygen and hemoglobin in the blood. This results in the release of oxygen from the blood, enhancing the delivery of oxygen to the exercising muscle.
- Warming up reduces the potential for muscle and connective injuries by increasing the body temperature as warm muscles and tendons have been shown to be less susceptible to injury.
- It increases blood flow to the heart. As more blood reaches to the heart it reduced risk for exercise-induced cardiac problems.
- It decreases muscle viscosity (aka resistance) thus increasing the suppleness of the muscle. This enhances the mechanical efficiency and power of the exercising muscles.
- It helps promote sweating and reduces the amount of heat stored in the body. This will help to prevent temperature from rising to dangerously high levels during (more strenuous) exercise.
- It enhances the speed of transmission of nerve impulses which makes your motor skills better.
- It gives you better muscle control by speeding up your neural message pathways to the muscles.
- It helps more blood reach muscles and connective tissue. The more blood reaching the muscles, tendons and ligaments, the more elastic the tissues become. This means better performance and a reduced chance of injuries.
- When you workout, you demand more blood and oxygen. Warming up helps the heart and blood vessels adjust to this idea.
- It allows you to work out comfortably longer because all your energy systems are able to adjust to exercise, preventing the buildup of lactic acid in the blood.
Warming up doesn't have to eat up the time you allotted for exercise into your day. In fact, a decent warm up only has to be 5 minutes long to do its job. It doesn't have to be boring either, you can mix up a number of great moves to make your warm up as fun as the rest of your exercising. In order to make your warm up interesting, you may find the following tips useful:
- Skip gently for 1-5 minutes: Skipping is a great way to warm up because when you skip, you use lots of different muscle groups.
- Go for a gentle walk or jog: Gentle walking or jogging is great way to warm up your muscles and prepare your body for further, more rigorous exercise. Walking, or jogging, with friends can help you to stay motivated, and it can be a great way to socialize.
- Do some gentle muscle stretches: After you have warmed up your muscles, doing some gentle stretching can be very useful, particularly if you are going to do a high speed, intensive work out. You should hold stretches for at least 30 seconds, as long as this feels comfortable for you. However, start by holding stretches for just five seconds, and progress as your body gets more used to exercise.
To fully reap the benefits of the time you are spending exercising, you must warm up. Taking those extra few minutes to adjust to increased activity will ensure a better performance from your body and, in turn, will make your workout more efficient, productive and, best of all, enjoyable.
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