When you only have limited time to workout, it’s tempting just to skip your warmup altogether and get started. However, warming up is just as important as post-workout recovery, no matter what activity you’re doing. Here’s why:
As people age, they often lose flexibility, which is something that a warmup can help keep at bay. Flexibility is lost because there is water lost from the body and changes to the body’s connective tissues. However, a proper warm up counteracts these problems, and without one, you’re more likely to be stiff and inflexible.
After a few minutes of exercise, your blood flow improves, which raises the temperature of your muscles. This also improves how much oxygen your muscles can access, which improves performance. Warm ups aren’t just physical; they have mental benefits, too, and having more focus can also improve your performance.
It’s a common belief that it takes a warmed-up muscle more force to become damaged than a non-warmed-up muscle. This means that warming up can prevent injury because the body is at a lower risk. It’s also possible that if you warm up before a workout, your body will have an easier time adjusting to the intensity.
Warm ups are a great way to get yourself in workout mode, especially if you’re preparing for an intense workout session. Your warmup is the perfect time to clear your mind and focus on what’s ahead of you. Take this time to go over your strategy or give yourself a pep talk about your skills. If you use positive imagery during your warmup, you’ll also be able to relax if you’re nervous about the workout.
How to Warm Up
The more intense your workout is going to be, or the more in shape you are, the longer you’ll want the warm up to be. For example, athletes tend to warm up for a longer period of time than non-athletes. If you’re doing a pretty basic workout, warming up for ten minutes or so should be enough time. Also, consider warm up massages, which some people prefer to more traditional types of warm ups.
Some people, even some professional athletes, don’t understand how important it is to properly warm up before every workout. If you want to get the most out of your workout, though, it’s a necessary step. It’s also an essential component of your workouts if you want to ward off injury and feel great afterwards.