Warm Up Routine – Rules of Fitness Rule #3
WHY IS A WARM UP IMPORTANT
Let’s look at a little metaphor for WHY your warm up is so important to a good workout.
It is a brisk winter morning, but your bed is warm and snuggly. Leaving it behind takes sheer force of will, but now you’re late for work. You get dressed and rush to your car. The engine grinds to life when you turn the ignition. The windshield is covered with ice. The wipers skitter across the surface. Your breath freezes on the inside of the windows. You turn the defrost on, but it blows out cold air. You’re going to be even later now, simply because you didn’t warm up the car.
This brings us to our Third Rule of Fitness: Warm up!
Warming up before you begin your exercise routine will keep your muscles from “freezing up!” It is essential to preventing injury and reducing fatigue. Those extra minutes spent preparing for your workout give your body time to adjust to a higher activity level. Taking the time to warm up is particularly important if you like to work out first thing in the morning, after dragging yourself out of your comfortable bed.
A proper warm-up benefits you in numerous ways:
- Increases your core body temperature, helping to burn calories more efficiently.
- Improves muscle elasticity and joint range of motion
- Speeds the delivery of oxygen to working muscles by increasing your metabolic rate
- Prepares your mind for more intensive exercise
A full body warm-up is important, but remember to focus on the muscle group you plan on focusing on during your workout. For example: if it’s arm day, rehearse those actions with a lighter weight set before going into your normal lifting routine. If you’re headed out for a run, start off with a slow jog.
Make warming up a habit, an integral part of your workout agenda. Think of it as the exercise you need before you exercise. What are some of your favorite warm-up moves?