Top Exercise Warm-Up Tips
A good warm-up before a workout dilates your blood vessels, ensuring that your muscles are well supplied with oxygen before you give them a vigorous workout. It also raises your muscles’ temperature for optimal flexibility and efficiency. Thus, by slowly raising your heart rate, the warm-up also helps minimize the stress on your heart.
Warming up will help reduce your risk of injury and the aches and pains that come with exercise. The physiological reason to warm up is to assist your circulatory system in pumping oxygen-rich blood to your working muscles. The idea is to increase circulation throughout the body, in a gradual manner. A proper warm-up safely prepares the body for the increased demands of exercise.
How to perform your warm-up sessions
What many people fail to realize is that there is a proper way to warm-up as well. If you are not performing your warm-up sessions properly, there is not much use of them. Therefore, if you want to make sure that you get all the benefits that exercise warm-ups bring, you need to be clear of how these sessions are performed.
For one thing, it is advisable that you start warming up slowly. Begin with some dynamic movements before progressing to movements with higher-effort.
Essentially, there are three things you need to do to make your warm-up a success.
Increase in heart rate
As you start warming up slowly, you provide your body with the opportunity of increasing the heart rate gradually over ten to fifteen minutes before exercising.
Increased blood flow
Your warm-up sessions need to stimulate specific systems in the body that increase blood flow to make sure that they are not stressed during the workout.
Using similar movements
The purpose of a warm-up is to make sure that the body is prepared for the activity that you plan to do. Thus, it is essential that your warm-up includes those movements that are similar to your workout routines. Some examples include doing knee hugs or leg kicks before squatting.
If these three goals are met, your body will be prepared for the intense workout sessions. Make it a point to remember that you need to start and pick up the pace gradually.
Some tips for warming up
Different people opt for varying workout routines. The length and intensity of these workouts differ. Let us provide you with some tips that are suitable for all types of exercise routines.
The duration of the workout
It is recommended that you perform about five to ten minutes of warm-up session comprising of low or moderate strenuous activity before starting with your exercise routine.
Determine warm-up session according to your workout
The type of warm-up you perform should be per the workout that you intend to do. For instance, if you want to prepare for a brisk walk, your warm-up can comprise of slower-paced walking. Similarly, if you’re going to run, you can jog for your warm-up. You need to make sure that the intensity of your resting level to strenuous activity increases gradually.
Stay away from static stretching
Static stretching refers to the type wherein you remain in one position. For instance, if you sit on a floor with legs spread or lean over one leg while holding onto your foot. This increases the risk of pulls and tears. Therefore, it is advisable to opt for dynamic stretching wherein you are required to move continuously and perform a range of motions. Static stretching can be done after you are done with your exercise.
Focus is the key
Mental focus is the key to a successful exercise routine. If you remain focused on what can be achieved if you perform your workout correctly, you will find your performance improving significantly. Take a moment to shift your attention entirely to your exercise routines. Close your eyes and take a deep breath before you start and eradicate every other thought from your mind.
You need to remember that what is a suitable warm-up for you depends on your workout and various other factors. There is no fixed rule regarding this. Therefore, it might take a lot of experimentation and practice to determine what the perfect warm-up for you is. Try different ways of warming up, changing the intensities till you figure out what is best for you.
It is advisable to end your exercise with some static stretching, which will allow your body to relax. Your heart would then return to its regular rate at resting level. Furthermore, this also gets rid of the waste products from the body. Warming down makes sure that you do not feel sore at the end of your workout.