Want to save time by skipping your warm-up sessions? Don’t! Your warm up is the most important part of your exercise routine. No matter how long you have been exercising or how good is your stamina level you should always begin your workout with a proper warm-up. The major reason that warming up is laid so much stress is because it stimulates the cardiovascular system and warms up the muscles that you will be using during the workout. Many studies have shown that lack of such sessions increases the risk of injuries during exercise sessions.
TYPES OF WARM-UP
Some of the common types of warm up sessions are explicated as under –
It is the least effective form of warm-up as it makes use of external sources of heat like sauna, spa or steam rooms to help your body warm up and get charged. This method is not effective unless accompanied by one or more of the other types of warm-up because they do little to increase the temperature deep within the muscles.
This type of warm-up plays an active role in stimulating and ultimately increasing the flow of blood to the muscles. Some of the common activities which come under this type include – stretching, jogging, jumping jacks, aerobics step, basic calisthenics moves. These activities play a role in strengthening the cardiovascular system and lungs which ultimately prepares your body for vigorous workout sessions.
This warm-up is required for specific activities like training with weights. The name makes it clear that this type of warm-up prepares the targeted muscles that will be used in the specific sessions.
BENEFITS OF WARM-UP
Here are some vital reasons for starting out with a warm-up and avoiding the shortcut route.:
1. It prepares you mentally for an event by clearing the mind, increasing focus, reviewing skills and strategy. Positive imagery helps in relaxing your body and build concentration.
2. A proper warm up session increases the blood flow to the working muscle which helps in decreasing the muscle stiffness, reduces the risk of injury and improves performance.
3. It also helps in breaking down the chemical complex of oxygen, which enables it to separate from the blood and ultimately enhance oxygen delivery to the muscle for better output. This ultimately helps in increasing endurance levels!
4. Contraction and reflex times are improved with higher muscle temperatures.
5. Exercising without warm-up places a potentially dangerous stress on the heart. Warming up reduces the stress on the heart.
6. Sweat is good for weight loss and warm-up promotes sweating. Sweating reduces the amount of heat stored in the body.
7. The probability of overstretching a muscle and causing injury is far less if your body is properly warmed up.
8. Warming up helps in preparing the cardiovascular system for impending workload.
DURATION OF WARM-UP
Prior to your more specific warm-up, a general warm-up should last for at least 7-10 mins. The more vigorous the exercise program or higher skills required in the workout, the longer the warm-up should be.
Heart rate is a good indicator for judging the effectiveness of your warm-up. The heart rate should be no more than 10 beats above or below the low-end of your training heart rate range. A break of light sweat is also another good indicator of a sufficient warm-up.