Exercising is an important part of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. It can be extremely frustrating to have your weekly workout routine interrupted by a minor injury – especially if you get that injury while working out! While many people skip a warm up, opting instead to jump right into their workout, there are many benefits to taking the time to gradually prepare the body for more strenuous activity.
How Your Warm Up Helps Your Work Out
You may be ready to go, but ensuring your body is too will help you stay on schedule and in great shape for this workout and many more to come. Here are some of the ways your warm up will help you get the most out of your workout:
- Increase Blood Flow – Your warmup will increase your muscle and body temperature, increasing blood flow to the muscles in your body.
- Increase Energy Production – This temperature increase will also help increase the rate of energy production in your body.
- Improve Reflexes – Your contraction and reflex times will be improved thanks to this increase in body temperature, helping you perform better.
- Reduce Heart Stress – Jumping right into a strenuous workout can place a lot of unnecessary and dangerous stress on the heart. Warming up will ease this stress.
- Protect Soft Tissue – Tendons, ligaments and muscles may be injured more easily if they are stiff and have not been warmed up properly.
- Get Mentally Prepared – Prepare yourself psychologically for the workout ahead by taking the time to connect with your body and visualize yourself participating during the warmup.
How to Warm Up Properly
Depending on the type of activity you do, you can tailor your warm up to give you the best results. There are two types of warm ups that should be considered and used depending on the type of exercise you are taking part in:
- General Warmup – Light jogging, jumping jacks and basic calisthenics are all great ways to get warmed up, as they activate the lungs and cardiovascular system while preparing your muscles for more intense activity.
- Specific Warmup – Before taking part in a skilled activity, such as sports like tennis or basketball, or training with heavy weights, a specific warmup is crucial. It can help you avoid tennis elbow or golfers elbow, shoulder pain, hip pain, and other injuries that occur when you are not properly warmed up. This type of warm up prepares the muscles you will be using so that they are stimulated, warm, and ready to be used. Easy movements and lower resistance practice sets are specific warmups. They should follow a more general warmup.
Need Treatment for a Sports Injury in Calgary?
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort from an exercise injury in Calgary, contact Alberta Back & Neck Rehab & Sports Injuries Clinic for an assessment. Our team of experts provide a range of treatments for sports injuries at our pain clinic in Calgary, and can help you get back to your routine. Call us at 403-234-0040 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.