Before starting any workout, one of the most important things you can do for your body is to go through a proper warm-up. A warm-up is important because it prepares your body for the intensity of your workout while promoting mobility and preventing a potential injury.
Imagine that your muscles are rubber bands. These rubber bands perform their best when they’re well taken care of and gently stretched. They don’t tend to move or stretch very well when they’re cold or haven’t gotten a lot of recent movement.
If you happen to work at a desk where you’re sitting down for most of the day, your muscles, like a rubber band, can lose some of their ability to stretch. A warm-up returns that ability to your muscles and connective tissue making it easier to move. Rather than beginning a workout with tight muscles and joints, the increase in blood flow prepares your body for training.
What’s the proper way to warm-up?
Going through a warm-up where you gradually ramp up the intensity of your movements also increases your heart rate and body temperature. The keyword is gradual. A good warm-up will slowly increase your heart rate and take your joints through a full range of motion.
Also, when planning your warm-up, keep your upcoming workout in mind. Ensure that you’ve warmed up the major muscle groups you will be using throughout your training session.
By taking ten to twenty minutes before your workout to warm up your muscles and prepare your body for your training, you’re decreasing your risk of injury and increasing your workout effectiveness.
At the YMCA of Greater Whittier, our health and fitness programs are designed to help you move better, feel better, and live better. To learn more about the programs we’re currently offering, contact us today.