Warming up before a workout doesn’t require a lot of time or effort, and yet delivers tremendous benefits for your body and your overall workout session.
Try to incorporate at least 5-10 minute overall body warm-up before executing any workout program. It can be as simple as light jogging on the treadmill, or using the elliptical, recumbent bike, or ergometer (rowing machine). Ideally, you want to perform a warm-up that mimics the moves in your workout session.
No equipment? No problem! You can have fun warming up using your own body weight like the example shown in the video above:
- 3 minute light jog (jog on the spot or around the gym or outside)
- 1 minute of toe taps (on a step or on anything that provides a platform higher than ground level)
- 30 seconds of slow push-ups (done on your knees or on your toes)
- 30 seconds of burpees (you can walk or jump when performing burpees)
(If time permits, repeat this sequence another round for a total of 10-minute warm-up)
Important reasons why you should warm-up:
1. Reduce chance of injury
Warming up increases the body temperature, which warms up the muscles, improves the elasticity of the muscles, thus reduces incidence and likelihood of musculoskeletal injuries (getting pulls and strains).
2. Improve performance and endurance
Warmed up muscles ensures that you are able to perform a quality workout session. Your metabolic rate increases as you warm-up, so the blood flow traveling to the muscles increases raising your blood temperature, thus speeding up energy production in the muscles.
3. Promote changes in hormones for energy production
Your body increases its production of various hormones responsible for regulating energy production. During warm-up, this balance of hormones makes more carbohydrates and fatty acids available for energy production.
4. Gain efficient cooling
The heat dissipation mechanisms in our body are activated with a warm-up exercise. This allows you to efficiently cool and avoid getting overheated in the initial stages of your workout routine.
5. Assist in mental preparation
Warm is the best way to mentally prepare for an exercise session. It clears your mind, increases your focus towards the workout session, increases alertness and readiness for training or activity.
6. Improve range of motion
Range of motion around joints is also improved during a warm-up. The joints get lubricated and the range of motion around a joint is increased, helping you move with more ease during exercise.
7. Reduce stress on cardiovascular system
Warming up allows a gradual increase in oxygen requirements and lowers stress on the heart.
8. Prevents early onset of fatique
Warming up allows the body time to deliver oxygen to working muscles which helps prevent early lactic acid buildup and fatigue that could shorten your workout.