Yes! A warm up may seem like a waste of time when you’re eager to get started on your workout, but it’s essential to getting the most benefit from your workout. Warm ups prepare your body and mind for the hard work ahead and leave you feeling more energized. Keep reading for more information about the crucial 10 minutes at the beginning of your workout.
Warm ups make your workout more efficient.
Warming up your body prior to your workout allows your core body temperature to rise and blood flow to your muscles to increase gradually. Gradually increasing blood flow prior to a workout ensures that your cardiovascular system won’t be overwhelmed when the real work starts, by generating more oxygen to the muscles to power through your workout.
A warm up also sends powerful messages to your body to start releasing the fuel you’ve given it all day. The body begins converting carbohydrates and fats into energy your muscles need to work hard, leaving you with more energy to complete your main sets.
Warm ups prevent injury and soreness.
If you think a warm up is a waste of time, consider how much time you’d waste being sidelined by an injury or muscle soreness. Cold muscles are more susceptible to tears and may be more prone to delayed onset muscle soreness. Either injury or soreness will sideline you for far more time than you would have expended with just a brief warm up.
Warm ups are good for your mind, too.
Think of your warm up as mental preparation for the work ahead. It may be tempting to get quickly to your workout, but if your mind has been asleep or busy with work before your workout, taking a few minutes to warm up allows you to mentally engage with the exercise and set a healthy intention for your workout. Whether you want to run faster or lift heavier, taking a moment for a physical and mental warm up allows you to visualize what you need to do to achieve the day’s goal.
Now that you know you should warm up, keep it simple.
To properly warm up, allow yourself at least ten minutes of easy to moderate cardiovascular activity like an easy swim or a brisk walk. If you plan to lift weights, add a few minutes of jumping jacks, arm swings, or any other low-intensity cardiovascular exercise you enjoy to increase your blood flow, set your intentions, and loosen up any tight muscles.
An efficient, easier workout free from injury and soreness leaves you feeling positive about your workout and optimistic about your next trip to FitClub.
The next time you’re tempted to dive right into your workout, what will your warm up be?