How often do you follow your fitness instructor or gym trainer’s recommendation to warm up before your main workout? If hardly, you aren’t alone. It turns out that most people do not warm up before they exercise!
The warming-up process is regarded as a crucial part of every workout, which is why fitness experts place much emphasis on it. Warm-up times typically depend on the intensity of the workout. It might not take more than a few minutes, but warming up can help reduce stress on the heart and muscles. When doing warm-ups, you should target all the muscles that you will engage during the training session.
If you need more convincing as to why you should take some moments out before your exercise to warm up, here are 5 wonderful benefits of warming up you should consider:
1) Warm-ups increase muscle flexibility
As your body gets warmer, your muscles become more flexible because more blood flows to them. As a result, your joints and tendons are less stressed. Joints that are well lubricated and warm will allow you to perform sudden movements more easily. Furthermore, this greatly reduces the chance of acute injuries as well as overuse injuries.
While there is unfortunately no warm-up that can prevent serious sports injuries such as bone fractures, a quick 10- to 15-minute warm-up can effectively minimize strains and pulls, along with overuse injuries like tendonitis.
2) Warm-ups prepare the nervous and cardio systems
One key advantage of warming up is that you prepare your cardiovascular system for physical activity. When your muscles are stimulated by movement, your heart pumps blood at a faster rate. Warming up can thus reduce the risk of high blood pressure by easing your cardiovascular system into those higher demands.
For your workout to be safe and efficient, both your brain and body must be working together. Warming up helps you to re-adjust your mind and body from whatever activity you were doing prior to your workout. Thus the warm-up prepares you for a more physically, or even mentally, challenging activity than you might usually be engaged in during your work or while sitting behind the wheel.
3) Warm-ups improve your performance
The mental aspect of warm-ups allows you to focus on the training session ahead. Also, warming up can help you perform better in terms of strength, speed and flexibility, allowing you to ‘get into the zone’ with greater ease. Furthermore, you will experience less soreness after exercising when your body is able to handle the demands you place on it.
4) Warm-ups raise your body temperature
The body produces its peak performance when it is at a slightly higher temperature. A warm-up can help increase your body’s core temperature in cold weather or early in the morning. As a plus, studies also suggest that a higher body core temperature may result in more calories being burnt!
5) Warm-ups increase your endurance
When you have an excessive amount of lactic acid in your blood, your body is inclined to give up on exercising. During the first few minutes of an exercise session, your body may build up lactic acid if you do not warm up properly, giving yourself the worst possible start to your workout. Warming up, however, adjusts your energy systems, resulting in less lactic acid buildup. This allows you to work out harder and longer!
So the next time you embark on your workout, keep in mind these benefits of warming up and ace your exercise!