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The Importance of Warming up Before Exercising
Warming up before working out is not just important. Rather, it can be considered "crucial". Whether for time constraints or simple laziness, it can be easy to want to skip a proper warm-up prior to exercising. Before you skip another warm-up, think twice. Below is a list of reasons to back up this statement. You will never want to miss a good warm-up session again.
Reasons to Warm Up Before Your Workout!
Warming Up Increases Body Temperature
Before we get into the depths of this, you might be wondering how temperature is related to working out and fitness.
Here is a simple explanation. Have you ever seen how tough materials like iron or steel can become flexible when subjected to heat?
When exposed to increased body temperature, our muscles become more efficient and flexible too. A warm muscle can contract and relax much more easily than a muscle at resting temperature.
This phenomenon, in turn, increases our muscles' flexibility and range of motion, which brings us to our next point.
Warming Up Reduces The Risk of Injury
With higher body temperature comes increased muscle mobility, reducing the risk of injury during a strenuous workout.
If you skip a warm-up and directly jump into a workout session, there are high chances you will end up with either an overstretched muscle or injury. This will completely throw you off.
Instead, prepare your body with a bit of stretching and low-impact warm-up exercises. This will improve your range of motion and give you the flexibility to make it through a strenuous workout session.Warming Up Helps Dilate The Blood Vessels
Just like an automobile running on fuel, your muscles require oxygen to carry out the physical tasks of the day. A good warm-up session can help supply your muscles with oxygen, setting you up for a great workout.
Warming up increases the temperature of your blood, bringing it from rest to what is suitable for physical activity. This dilates your blood vessels, providing more blood to the muscles and increasing your heart rate.
An increase in blood temperature decreases the rate of hemoglobin binding with oxygen, making oxygen readily available to the muscles in action. The result is fueled muscles with improved endurance.
That's not all. Jumping directly into a workout can result in an abrupt increase in your heart rate, which can stress the heart. However, a good warm-up session will prevent that by slowly increasing your heart rate without stressing it out.
Warming Up Helps Prep The Body for Heavy-Duty Machines
Now, if you are someone who loves going to the gym and enjoys the process of challenging your body by working out on those heavy-duty machines, here is your call for warming up.
When you enter a gym after a long, tiring day, your body is already stressed out. Therefore, your goal is not just to challenge it but also to de-stress it.
It is crucial to prepare your body to take those machines head-on. If you jump onto this heavy-duty equipment without prepping your joints, you will end up with over-stressed and over-stretched muscles and perhaps an injury which should be the last thing to hope for on your route to fitness.
The choice of your pre-workout warm-up session is also very important. Again, this depends on the workout you are planning. Most common warm-up exercises include running in place, cycling, and even performing the activity at a slower pace.
Warming Up Balances your Hormones
Your body has two best friends that aid it in coping with challenging workouts. These are known as Epinephrine and Cortisol, also known as "The Stress Hormones".
Warm-up sessions help release these hormones, relieving stress and giving you the energy to get into that exercise zone and fly through a hard workout.
When you start a warm-up session, your brain signals your adrenal glands to start prepping your body. The glands release Epinephrine which directly increases your heart rate providing more oxygen to the muscles.
For long-term use, the glands release cortisol which helps break more carbs and fatty acids to fuel up your muscles and keep them well-equipped with energy for the workout.
Warming Up Helps Warm Up Your Brain
Your fitness journey isn't just physical. It is also a mental and emotional journey, so it is important to be in the right state before starting a workout session.
Starting a workout out right away without warming up isn't wise if you are looking forward to developing a routine and a love for workouts and fitness.
Warm-up sessions can help boost your motivation for working out and help clear away all the daily fuss and stress from your mind. This helps to put you in just the right mood to work out.
On the contrary, jumping right into a workout will drain you of your valuable motivation, add to the stress your body is already coping with, and in the worst-case scenario, can cause an injury that can take months to heal.
In short, working out without warming up is a recipe for killing your fitness motivation. So never miss a warm-up session.
Now that you have a better understanding of why warming up is important before you start your workout, here is another helpful tip:
Plan your warm-up sessions just like you plan your workout sessions. It is important to do the right warm-up for the type of exercise.
The ideal warm-up session will include a range of dynamic exercises that intensify as you approach the actual workout.