Why Do You Need To Warm Up Before Exercises?
Today, exercises have become a part of many people routine. Some want to lose weight, some want to build muscles while others just want to be physically fit. But whichever category you fit into, you need to know and fully understand all the important aspect of exercises including warm up. So what exactly is warm up? Warming up is simply a gentle preparation for an exercise activity that is to be done. It could include you doing a brisk jogging, walking, stretching or slow strength exercises.
The importance of a warm-up before exercises cannot be overemphasized as it remains an essential aspect that needs to be undergone for an effective exercise session. If you work-out in a gym under the supervision of a fitness trainer, you may have been forced countless times to go through the warm-up phase. But you still may be wondering till date, the reason for this compulsory warm-up. You wonder, what if you ditch the warm-up phase all to pursue your interest in time, what is likely to happen or not happen? Well, that's what I will be telling you today. I will be giving you top reasons why you need to warm up before exercises. So, keep following.
Warm up to care for your heart
Warming up before you begin your exercises will help to prime your heart in preparation for the strenuous activity. Imagine you walking into a gym and grabbing the first equipment you find. That will be too sudden for your heart. In the long run, you will be putting too much pressure on your heart. Need I tell you what high blood pressure can result in? So, if you care for your heart health, you must give it enough time to adjust to an increased need for blood flow around your body whenever you exercise.
Warm up to reduce your risk of injury
During the warm-up phase before an exercise session, you don't only prime your heart but your muscles also. This will help to reduce your risk of muscle as well as soft tissue injury. Is this backed up with research? Yes, it is. A research study published in the journal of science and medicine in sport in 2006 revealed that warm-up can decrease the risk of muscle injury. According to the research, a brisk stretching before exercise can counteract the risk of suffering a muscle tear. How? During exercise, the muscles in your body need an increased flow of blood to make them more flexible and elastic.
Also, the ligaments and tendons in your body are more flexible where there is adequate blood flowing through them. You see, more synovial fluids is secreted at your joints during your warm up session which is very similar to oiling a rusted hinge. They then begin to help your body joints move easily and better. In other words, you should warm up before you begin working out else you just might end up with muscle or muscles tear. If you care to know, it could affect your workout routine for a long time.
Warm-up to prepare yourself mentally
Have you ever tried exercising before without warming up? How did it feel? Was it a good or a bad experience? I bet you didn't feel so good. You probably were too slow and in the end couldn’t keep up. Warming up helps to prepare your mind for the strenuous activity that is to come afterward. This helps to set your mind in a good direction and improve your mood. It helps to keep you from being sluggish from the beginning of the exercise to the end.
A well prepared mind for a workout session definitely comes with more benefits. When you are slow, you can't really get many benefits but the moment your mind is prepared beforehand and has helped geared your interest in the right direction, you begin to work-out better. And of course, if you keep warming up before any workout session, your result comes faster and better. So next time you have to work out, remember to prepare your mind for better result.
Warm-up to increase your performance levels
A warm up before a work out session is sure to increase your performance levels. It is a glitch-free guarantee. Your mind, after all, was prepared, your heart prepared as well as your muscles. According to a study in 2010 which was published in the journal of strength conditioning, warming up increased by 79 percent the performance levels of athletes. Another study recently published revealed that cyclist who completed a 70 percent intensity warm-up improved their ability to consume oxygen. This resulted in making them faster. Now you know how important a warm-up session to your performance.
What about a warm down?
Have you heard of a warm down phase during exercises? Well, whether you have or not, you must have guessed it is the opposite of the warm up session. The warm down phase of an exercise is when you slowly of gradually return your body back to a normal state. The warm down phase is equally as important as the warm up phase. Imagine if you stop exercising suddenly that will not be favorable to your body in any way. So the next time you exercise, remember to warm up slowly and warm down gradually too.
Tips for warming up before exercises
Not everyone has a personal trainer to monitor their warm up session or give them tips to get it right. So, I also will be giving you tips to warm up effectively. They include;
1. Ensure you warm up slowly: Remember you are only preparing yourself for the main exercise. If you will be jogging or stretching or any other, just ensure you do them slowly.
2. Keep it short: Ensure your warm up session doesn't take too long; it's after all just a preparation phase. Keeping it between 10-15 minutes is enough.
3. Be exercise specific: If you will be doing cardio exercises, then your warm up session should focus on exercises that prepare your heart. Do same for others too.