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Should You Warm Up Before Exercise?

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First and foremost, warming up is a great way to prevent injury. Doing some light movement will raise your body temperature and get your blood flowing, loosening your limbs. Think of your muscles like a rubber band; the colder and stiffer they are, they are more likely to snap under pressure than adapt and bend. Researchers have found that warming up reduces your internal viscosity, the thickness of your muscles, so they can move easier and respond better to stress. So if you warm up, you won’t tear a hamstring the next time you try to sprint.

Dynamic movements or stretches should slowly bring the body through key ranges of motion. For example, if you’re preparing to run, a tremendous vigorous exercise is swinging your legs back and forth. The key to dynamic stretching is to perform the movements slowly.

Simple warm-ups before workouts are:

Light jogs:

jogging can be a quick start for a pre-exercise routine. But nothing tedious, just light jogs

Easy stretches:

Body stretches another warm-up routine. Arm extends, leg stretches, body twisting falls under this category. These can be done in a position (static) or done while moving (dynamic) stretches. Some Physical therapists advised against dynamic stretches because they can be energy draining. On the other hand, the static stretch is not energetic and is a general warm-up routine for everyone. The best of the two plays depends entirely on the trainer and the reason for the workout.

Butt kicks:

Butt kicks involve pushing your legs back to the butt, then forward and back again. It is an excellent warm-up exercise for athletes and trainers looking to have good muscular thighs and butt.

Arm circles:

Arm circles involve moving the arm in a circular motion to increase blood flow to the muscle.

Squats:

This exercise involves bending the legs and, subsequently, the arms.

Leg walks:

Taking a few walks around the training room is also a good warm-up routine.

Jumping Jack, Lunges, knee lifts, shoulder rolls, heel digs are other warm-up routines.

Warm-ups are an individual preference. Your exercise will determine the best warm-up performance to pick. The one that best works for you is the one you should do. If any warm-up or exercises causes you any pain, please stay away from it. Seek professional help from your Physical Therapist as there might be an underlying issue.

Why Warm-up if I am still going to exercise?

Some trainers see no point in warm-ups since they will be exercising after all. Do note that each performs different duties, and they are both excellent for the body. While exercises are rigorous and sweaty and make you burn calories, warm-ups may not do that. Warm-ups are a simple routine to get your body and mind at alert.

Improves oxygen delivery and muscle pliability:

A warm-up improves the flow of blood through the tissues and results in greater muscle flexibility. The more elastic a muscle is, the lesser is its chance of becoming strained or torn. Warm-up also enhances the body’s ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients to working muscles and thereby helps them perform at their best. Thus, improved oxygen supply and flexible muscles can be achieved as one of the physical benefits of warming up before exercise.

Warm-ups increase muscular temperature:

Warm-up primarily prepares the cardiovascular system for a workout. While performing the movements, the muscles get warmed up and tend to contract more forcefully and relax faster. Warm-up leads to the enhancement of both speed and strength. Exercise also causes the heart to respond by rapidly pumping more blood. Warm-up makes it easier for the cardiovascular system to meet these greater demands and prevents a sudden spike in blood pressure. One of the most needed physical benefits of warming up before exercise is improved muscle temperature.

Enhances co-ordination:

When the nervous system is prepared, it communicates better with muscles. A dynamic warm-up, which includes moves like lunges, slow mountain climbers, and plank position, is instrumental in stimulating the central nervous system. When the nerve-to-muscle pathways communicate clearly, the body tends to respond with quicker reaction times and swifter movements. This benefit of warming up before exercise can help in better exercise performance and enable taking more challenging workouts.

Warmup hormonal productions like epinephrine, cortisol:

The production of various hormones responsible for regulating the energy level in the body increases during a warm-up and helps make more carbohydrates and fatty acids available for energy production. Thus, warming up before exercise improves hormonal balance and helps boost metabolism.

Warm-ups mentally alert the mind, brain, and body to get ready:

Warm-ups are the signal jumpstart the body, mind, and brain need that there is worked to be done. Warm-ups get you in sync with every part of your body.

Warm-ups lower the risk of getting injured:

When you do not warm up before workouts, you might easily injure yourself, especially when you head straight for the heavyweight machines.

Warm-ups help to increase one’s flexibility:

A warm-up improves the joints’ range of motion, specifically the hips, knees, ankles, and shoulders. Immobile joints limit a person’s ability to move efficiently, decrease their power, and slow them down. Stiff joints are extremely vulnerable to injuries too. A warm-up, which involves the glutes, spine, abdominals, hip flexors, and back muscles, prepares the body to remain stable and balanced during the workout session. This core preparation also helps guard the joints against injury by giving the individual control over their movements. One of the significant physical benefits of warming up before exercise is protecting joints and preventing injuries during workouts.

Warm-ups prepare you to be able to handle heavyweight machines during your exercise:

A good warm-up routine makes it easy to lift heavy machines or engage in strenuous activities.

 

What To-Do and Not-To-Do During Warm-ups.

When going through your warm-ups, do it knowing that it is a pre-exercise routine.

Do’s:

  1. Go for comfortable and light warm-ups. “The goal is to break a sweat before moving into stretching and exercise-specific parts of the warm-up,” says the American College of Sports and Medicine.
  2. Stick to the routine that works best for you.
  3. Breathing exercises are part of warm-ups. Take deep breaths. The American College of Sports and Medicine recently research this with cyclists who have warm-ups before their activities. The study showed that this cyclist had improved their energy-consuming ability. During their workouts, they were notably faster than their counterpart who did not warm up.

During warm-up, AVOID:

  • Warm-ups longer than 10-15minutes.
  • 2. Energy draining warm-ups. It is no longer a warm-up if it saps your energy.
  • 3. Following other people’s routines. Your warm-ups should be based on your reason for working out, not theirs. If your exercise is solely to burn out belly fats, then your warm-ups should be in line with that too.

Warm-ups and cool-downs are an essential part of working out. Warm-ups are an excellent pre-exercise routine that should not be taken lightly. Cool-downs are done after exercise. Cool-downs bring down the increased blood flow and muscular temperature. Warm-ups and cool-downs are as important as the exercises. They are useful tools in awakening the body for workouts and getting the body back to the average level.

Since warm-ups are simple routines, they are in no way energy-consuming. Skipping warm-ups can be injurious. Let the words of Jim White, Dietitian, and Personal Trainer in Virginia, guide you to make the best decision. He said, “In fact, warm-ups and cool-downs are ‘the most important thing’ over the workout itself because injuring yourself can set you back.” Do you want any setback or injury during your activities? Warm-ups give you a better chance of preventing injuries.

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