Working out, exercising and staying fit are important to our health for many different reasons. It does so much more than simply keep us in good physical shape. It helps our mind, our skin, our health and there is really no reason not to work out. Unfortunately, with most people having incredibly busy lives, finding the time isn’t always easy.
Even if you can only do it a few times a week, working out is a very good idea. However, there is most certainly a right or wrong way to do it. Exercising can be a very straining and difficult activity and you need to ensure you are prepared, if not, you could suffer an injury or simply not have a good experience.
One of the best ways to prepare for exercise is by warming up ahead of time. This generally consists of doing things like stretching and some light cardio to get the blood flowing. If you are asking yourself “why is it important to warm up?”, then you’ve come to the right place. This blog post is going to look at a couple of reasons why warming up is the way to go.
So grab those hiqh quality warm up jackets and gym shoes and get ready to learn why it’s so important to warm up before you exercise or play sports..
One of the best and most important reasons to warm up for exercise or sports is to prevent injuries. Injuries are all too common during working out or playing sports. While injuries can be minor, they can also be incredibly major and take you out of commission for months. Some injuries are more common than others, but a wide range of potential injuries can occur if you’re not careful.
Warming up helps reduce injuries as it lengthens and stretches the muscle, so it takes more force to damage or strain it. The more warmed up your muscles are, the better prepared they will be to handle your workout. Of course, injuries can always occur, but warming up can help you reduce them. Generally, it is a good idea to start with a little bit of jogging or active warm-ups, and then after a few minutes move onto stretching to provide the best results.
It Sends More Oxygen to Your Muscles
When you warm up, the blood inside of your body literally warms up as well. This increase in blood temperature leads to a weakening of the bond between oxygen and hemoglobin. Because of this, oxygen is available in higher quantities to help working muscles, which can add to your overall endurance during a workout.
In addition to blood temperature increasing, so will the temperature of your muscles and body as a whole. This can enhance your speed and strength through better muscle elasticity. All of this can also help your blood vessels to dilate a little bit more, which allows for more blood to flow through than if you hadn’t warmed up before exercise.
Helpful Hormonal Changes
Your body goes through a lot of changes from simply sitting around to when you are exercising. One of the largest changes is how much hormones are produced. During exercise, your body will produce more hormones such as epinephrine and cortisol. These help the body to regulate the the energy within your body.
Producing more of these hormones can help more carbs and various types of fatty acids to be used for producing the energy your body needs. Of course, physical activity (whether during warm up or regular exercise) can also impact many other types of hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, testosterone and others. These various types of hormones can affect everything from our minds, to our bodies and even our emotions.
Gives You Time to Mentally Prepare
Warming up also gives you ample time to mentally prepare for your activity. Mentally preparing could improve your focus, which could help ensure you use the correct form or technique. While this can often be more beneficial for sports, that’s not always the case. For example, mentally preparing before a big lift or a physically demanding workout can help put you in the right headspace to succeed.
One of the biggest struggles people have with exercising and going to the gym is motivation. Something as simple as a light jog or a few jumping jacks or toe touches can help get your blood flowing and get you ready to work out. It simply feels better to ease into a workout with a warm up than it does to go right into strenuous or difficult lifts or exercises.
In conclusion, hopefully this article has been able to help you learn why it’s important to warm up before an exercise.