While getting regular exercise of any kind is vital for ongoing physical and mental health, something else that’s also important is a warm up routine before embarking on any form of strenuous exercise, such as jogging or working out in the gym. There are some key things to know about warming up and we’re going to be covering those in this article so you can get the most out of your warm up routine.
Why Warming Up Before Exercise Is Important
Never be tempted to skip a warm up routine because you are simply impatient by nature or short on time. Warming up is a vital part of your exercise routine and should not be skipped or have its importance diminished.
Let’s take a look at some key things a warm up does.
- Increased Blood Circulation – In order to get the body ‘warm’ and reducing the chance of an injury while exercising, you need to perform a warm up routine that increases the heart rate and gets that circulation going.
- Increases Flexibility – When you stretch and perform a warm up, your flexibility will naturally improve, which makes it easier to perform your exercises and again reduces the chances of sustaining an injury.
- Enhances Range of Motion – This is similar to being more flexible. As your body warms up, your joints will experience a better range of motion for enhanced performance and less chance of joint damage during exercise.
- Reduced Muscle Pain and Tension – When your body is nicely warmed up and you commence exercising, you’ll experience far less muscle tension and pain during your routine.
- Better Performance – You want to be able to get the most out of your exercise, no matter what you are doing. A good warm up will help to achieve better results and in a shorter time frame.
- Reduce the Risk of Injury – All of the points regarding warm ups combine to reduce the risk of sustaining an injury while exercising.
Various Methods of Doing a Warm Up
How you warm up may depend on what type of exercise is to follow or where you happen to be while warming up.
One of the best methods to get the body prepared and warm before diving into an exercise routine is simply by walking. If you’re out and about preparing to go for a run, you could walk to your favourite jogging location before breaking into a trot. At the gym, treadmills are perfect for walking to warm up. Alternatively, you could jump on one of the cycles for the same result.
Static stretching has always been a popular method of loosening the muscles and joints in preparation for an exercise routine, whether it be running, aerobics, a gym workout or even playing sport. Static stretching is all about keeping the body still while focusing on stretching particular joints and muscle groups with each stretching exercise.
Dynamic Warm Up
A dynamic warm up is something that is also popular. Generally speaking, when you do a true dynamic warm up, you will be simulating the type of exercises you’ll be performing when you start the exercise routine proper. It’s all about preparing your body for the exact motions you’ll be using when you exercise and dynamic warm ups are particularly effective for anyone who wishes to perform a more high intensity workout. Some examples of a dynamic warm up include:
- Jogging on the spot
- Marching on the spot
- Jumping jacks
- Simulating weight lifting routines without resistance
- Cycling motions
- Ab crunches
- And more…
Follow Warm Up Routines On YouTube Videos
If you’re unsure of what to do for a warm up, simply go online and follow along to some videos. On sites like YouTube there are literally tens of thousands of awesome warm up videos you can follow along to so you can learn some effective warm up routines that suit your exercise regime. It’s also a lot more fun.
You Should Also Do a Cool Down Routine
Many people might warm up before exercise, but skip the cool down part after the routine is finished. While a cool down may not be considered as vital as a warm up, it’s still important. An effective cool down allows your muscles to relax, your heart rate to drop and your breathing to recover. It can also assist in reducing muscle stiffness and soreness following exercise. If you get into the habit of doing a cool down, you’ll recover more quickly and also feel extremely relaxed afterwards.
Warming up before exercise certainly has its advantages. It prepares your body for the routine to come but most importantly, it can vastly reduce your chances of sustaining an injury; an injury that will prevent you from exercising and causing an everyday inconvenience.
Ashley writes the articles and posts for MyMedici and other websites. He has a background in digital marketing and provides services through www.websitestrategies.com.au and www.ashleybryan.com.au. He lives on the Sunshine Coast, QLD with his family.