Don’t have time to warm up before you exercise? Here are seven good reasons you should take a few minutes to warm up before you hit the weights, the track or the pool.
1. A proper warm up will greatly reduce your chances of injury.
A simple 3-5 minute full body warm up will help prepare both mind and body for for the workout that is about to follow.
2. Your warm up increases your muscle and body temperature.
Your warm up literally “warms up” those muscles you are about to exercise. Warm muscles will contract more fully and stretch and recover more quickly. Warm muscles also stretch before they tear, strain or pull and are less likely to be injured during training.
3. Increased blood flow.
Your warm up slowly increases your heart rate and the amount of blood flowing to your muscles and increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients delivered to your muscle tissue and cells. More oxygen and nutrients improves both performance (strength) and endurance. Increased blood flow als decreases muscle stiffness from your previous workout.
4. Dilated blood vessels and decreased blood pressure.
As you warm up, your blood vessels will dilate, or increase in diameter which allows your blood to flow more freely throughout your body. These larger vessels also decrease the workload of your heart and lower blood pressure.
5. Increased flexibility and range of motion.
The increased temperature and circulation from your warm up also benefits the flexibility and range of motion of your joints decreasing the possibility of soft tissue injuries of your tendons and ligaments surrounding your joints.
6. Psychological benefits of warming up.
During and after your warm up you will feel more mentally prepared for your workout and helps you focus on the workout session ahead of you. Warming up also increases your mind-body link as you become aware of each muscle group. Once you make warming up a regular part of your fitness program, you will begin to “feel” that point when you are ready to move from warm up to workout.
7. Increased hormone production and release.
As you begin your warm up your body will sense the need for additional energy and release the necessary hormones to increase your metabolism, and increase stored glycogen and fat burning. If you are already in a calorie deficit state (burning more calories than you are eating) this hormonal increase may also promote added body fat burning throughout your workout.
A short 3-5 minute warm up will help you train with fewer injuries, increase your flexibility and range of motion, prepare your body mentally and physically for your workout and burn more calories and fat. Why would you skip your warm up?