Warming up is an essential part of any workout routine. It prepares your body for more intense activity and prevents injury by loosening the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints you’ll be using. A good warm up slowly increases your heart rate and circulation, and raises your muscle temperature. It also prepares yourself mentally for what you’re about to do, whether it’s engaging in the game ahead, going on a run, or exercising at the gym. To make sure you’re warming up properly, check out the following techniques for getting your body prepared for physical activity.
- Consider your activity level. How long you spend warming up depends on your fitness level. If you’re newer to a certain exercise or sport, a longer warm up may be in order, as it will help your body respond better.
- Jog in place. Get your blood flowing by walking or jogging in place for a few minutes. It’s also helpful to shake out your limbs.
- Go through the motions. Think about the activity you’re about to do, then employ low-intensity motions associated with that activity for five to 10 minutes to get your body used to working in a particular formation.
- Stretch. Once you’ve warmed up for about 10 minutes, stretch the muscles you’re about to use for your upcoming activity. This should be done slowly and just shy of the point where it feels uncomfortable. Begin with a few repetitions, then gradually increase the duration of each stretch so that you’re holding it for 30 seconds. Resist the urge to bounce, as this can cause damage to your muscles.
- Dedicate time to your warm up. Don’t skimp on your warm up because you’re anxious to get in the game. The sole reason for a warm up is to prevent injury, so a good warm up should last between 20 to 30 minutes. And by stretching throughout the game or during breaks in your exercise routine, you can ensure that your muscles will function effectively and that you can remain injury-free.
Are You Interested in Learning More About Warming Up Properly?
For more information about preventing injuries by warming up the right way, or for any other questions regarding our services, schedule an appointment with The Orthopedic Center at 918-582-6800.