Warming up is a crucial part of any workout routine. A warm-up is a short period of light activity that increases blood flow to your muscles, helping them prepare for more strenuous activity.
Warming up can be as simple as walking around the block or doing a few stretches in a large open area. You could also go for a brisk walk on a treadmill or elliptical machine, run in place for five minutes, perform some yoga poses and stretches, do jumping jacks, or do anything else that gets you moving for about 10 minutes before starting your main workout. Warming up prepares your body for the demands of exercise by increasing blood circulation, and it minimizes your risk of injury.
Helps muscles get their full range of motion
If you don’t warm up, your muscles don’t get their full range of motion, and they’re not at their maximum strength potential. This can lead to injury when you start working out harder and faster—you’re more likely to pull something or tweak your knee or elbow because your muscles aren’t ready for it. And when you’re injured? You can’t work out! Warming up makes tissues more compliant, which means they can stretch more easily. This helps improve performance by increasing your range of motion and flexibility.
Improves blood circulation
Warm ups increase blood flow to key areas such as the brain and heart, which in turn increases oxygen supply to those areas. It helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and removes waste products like lactic acid. This allows you to perform at a higher level during your workout without getting tired as quickly.
Warming up helps prepare your body for the intensity you’re about to bring it, so it can perform at its best.
Reduces soreness after a workout
The reason for this is simple: when you stretch out first, your muscles are warmed up and ready for the challenge ahead of them—they’re not fighting against cold muscle tissue when they contract and expand during exercise. So if you’ve got an important dinner party coming up tomorrow night but want to squeeze in a quick run around the block today? Make sure you take 5 minutes before hand to get those muscles nice and pliable! A study from Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy found that warming up before exercise helped reduce muscle soreness as well as reduce injury rates by as much as 50%.
Prepares you mentally for physical activity
When we warm up our bodies, we’re preparing ourselves mentally for the activity we’re about to take part in. When we go from being sedentary to suddenly engaging in physical activity, our bodies need time to adjust—and warming up gives us that opportunity!
Warming up doesn’t feel like much. You’re just walking around, stretching your muscles, and getting your blood flowing. But if you skip it, you’re missing out on a chance to get your body ready for what it’s about to put itself through. When you skip warming up, there’s a higher chance that you’ll injure yourself while working out because your muscles haven’t had time to warm up, so they’re stiff and not ready for the workout. And if you’re not properly warmed up, you’ll be more likely to get hurt when exercising in hot weather or cold weather—because your body isn’t prepared for either extreme temperature!
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