An important meeting, a long over due get-together or a movie night. We all come up with similar reasons to excuse ourselves from a warm up before working out. Some of us even believe that skipping these will leave us with extra time for fat burning or muscle building workouts.
However, FitNutters, by skipping these we miss out on a number of benefits. The purpose of warming up is to prepare the body and mind for the upcoming strenuous physical activity. Here are the benefits:
- Greater muscle contraction: Warming up increases the temperature of the muscles involved, leading to enhanced strength of the muscles. As a result, the muscles are able to contract and relax more efficiently.
- Improved endurance: Warming up leads to blood vessels being dilated. This ensures that the oxygen and nutrient rich blood flows to the muscles more freely during your work out. This prevents fatigue from setting in.
- Reduced risk of injury: It improves the elasticity of your muscles, which reduces the likelihood of the muscles being overstretched during a work out. Hence, lesser chance of a muscle pull or a tear.
- It prepares you mentally: Working out requires a lot of discipline hence it is as much a mental exercise as it is a physical one.
- Less stress on your heart during workouts: Warming up ensures that your heart rate increases gradually. Diving straight into your workout could put a lot of stress on your heart due to a sudden increase in heart rate.
How to do a proper warm up
It depends on the type of exercise you are about to perform and the muscles you will be working on. Further, most research in this area suggests that a 5-10 minute warm up prepares the body for more physically taxing exercises.
A warm up before working out should consist of movements similar to those that you will be performing during your work out so that the target muscles get warmed up properly. In addition, it is always recommended to get a full body warm up in order to get the maximum benefits.
For instance, doing jumping jacks or jogging followed by push-ups and dynamic stretches will give you a full body warm up. Performing bicep curls with light weights on days you are working on your biceps will ensure you are fully prepared for your workout session.