Warm-ups are essential for muscles

Is it really necessary to warm up before a work out?


Yes!  Unfortunately, most people simply don’t make time for a warm-up. Many just want to “get in and get out,” and they don’t really consider the benefits of properly preparing the body for exercise.

A warm-up session is essential because it:

  1. Increases the temperature of your muscles and joints, which makes movement more efficient and reduces the risk of injury.
  2. Causes blood vessels to dilate, which shuttles oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, allowing you to achieve peak performance.
  3. Prepares you for exercise mentally, heightening your senses and allowing you to focus and concentrate on the work at hand.  Warm up the body and fire up the mind!

These are just a few of the benefits, but a simple fact remains: You will feel better and perform better if you include a warm-up in your exercise session. It is best to try and mimic your actual workout, if possible.  Take five minutes, and do some light cardiovascular exercise, along with a few basic bodyweight strength exercises. Try the elliptical or some fast walking, and throw in some lunges, push-ups, squats or planks.  Keep in mind that the perfect warm up is a very individual process that can only come with practice, experimentation and experience. Try warming up in various ways and at various intensities until you find what works best for you.

Definitely take the time to incorporate a short warm-up into your exercise routine.  You will maximize the benefits of your work out and your muscles and your mind will thank you.
Anthony G. Barnes is the club owner at Anytime Fitness in Chester and holds a degree in Sports Medicine and Exercise Science.  To submit a question for future articles, please contact the author at anthony.barnes@anytimefitness.com


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