Exercise regularly is an essential component of leading a healthy lifestyle. Likewise a good warm up before exercises is an essential part of a complete and safe exercise. A good warm up will gradually increase your heart rate, increase circulation to your muscles, tendons and ligaments, and mentally prepare you for your exercise. A total body warm up is essential for your work out if you want to see maximum benefits and minimize the risk of injuries.
What’s happening to your body during warm up?
During a warm up your heart rate increase which begins to pump blood faster around the body. Your circulatory system begins to open up more with this increased blood flow and begins to allow your blood to go directly to where it is needed which is in the muscles being worked upon.
This increased blood flow warms up those muscles which allows them work better, easier and do what they do best which is to contract and relax as you work out. As you begin by warming up your breathing rate also begin to increase which combines with that better working circulatory system to deliver oxygen to the muscles.
The Importance of Warm up before Exercises
The importance of warm up before exercises can be compared to driving your car in freezing cold weather. It is generally best to allow your car to warm up a bit before reviving it up to high speeds. The same principle applies when you exercise . You want to physically prepare your body for the demands of a strenuous exercise by gradually increasing your body temperature.
• Warm Up to Increase Blood Circulation : When you give your body 5 to 10 minutes of a good warm up, through walking or jogging, you gradually increase blood circulation throughout your muscles, tendons and ligaments. This is much like oiling a squeaky wheel. Your heart rate increases gradually. Your muscles warm up to prevent injury. Your ligaments and tendons become more flexible, reducing the chance of tears.
• Warm Up Before Exercises as a Form of Mental Preparation : This is especially helpful if you engage in strenuous forms of exercise such as hiking or cycling a steep hill, lifting heavy weights or taking an advanced aerobics class. Your body experiences a great deal of stress during these types of activities, so an adequate warm up and mental preparation increase your chances of enduring and benefiting from the hardest part of your exercise regimen.
• Warming up can save you from a lot of pain with the muscles warmed up and raring to go with increased blood flow and oxygen, your muscles are more enthusiastic for the upcoming challenge and they can now achieve a greater range of motion. This helps to reduce the risk of you getting an injury, as a muscle that is not warmed up properly is at far greater risk from any impacts it will receive.
So as you can see just a short 5-15 minutes warm up can really save you time later as well as help to improve your actual exercise when you actually get to it. So after reading this we don’t want to see any of you skipping that warm up, because it’s an essential part of exercising and achieving your health goal more efficiently.Author Information — this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo