Warm - ups are an important
ingredient to lifelong fitness.
Proper warm – ups prior to
exercising helps promote a healthily lifestyle, and should be a part
of everyone’s normal routine.
Why proper warm - ups?
Because poor or nonexistent warm – ups can be detrimental to your
health and lead to injuries. Taking the time to warm - up before
going for a run, hitting the field or the weights help prevent
injuries and actually boosts performance.
What is considered a “warm - up”?
A warm - up exercise can be as simple as performing the activity you
are getting ready to engage in at low level of intensity. This could
consist of fast walk before a run, a few light reps before working
out, or using a cardio machine at a low setting. To gain the
greatest benefit of warming - up, whatever warm - up activity you
choose should at least mimic the activity you are going to perform.
What physically happens during a
warm - up is an increased blood flow to the major muscle groups,
which in turn helps the muscles to become more elastic. In other
words your muscles are more pliable, which greatly reduces the
chance of a pulled or strained muscle. This is the very reason why
you shouldn’t stretch prior to an activity without warming – up
first; your muscles are not pliable enough and may not respond
properly. Conversely, after an activity is when your muscles need
stretching the most. After an activity is when the muscles will be
warmed-up enough to be safely stretched. For additional information
regarding muscle stretching, please see our Muscle Stretching page.
Warm – ups can
also increase performance.
A thorough 10 minute warm - up can
increase a power-lifter’s one time lift by 10-20% depending on the
size and amount of muscles groups involved. This also directly
correlates to improving simple things like the number of sit-ups and
push-ups you can do, and it can also help increase your run time.
So, why doesn’t everyone warm – up
their muscles prior to exercising? Many people do not
realize the benefits of warming –
up, while others normally use the “don’t have time” excuse for
skipping warm - ups.
The next time you workout take the
time to warm - up and see for yourself the difference it can make.
Besides the immediate benefits you will experience, you are also
helping to ensure your body will be able to sustain a lifetime of
physical fitness – a major goal for us here at SkatingFitness.com.