Move Your Body Before You Move Your Body – Why you should Warm Up Before You Exercise

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So you’ve checked out the 5 exercises, 10 repetitions in 15 minutes sweat buster. Excellent!

Before you dive head first into the workout, read on to find out how you can gain more out of your workout by including a warm up before you bust a move.

A warm up is a really important phase of any workout session.

 

5 important facts about a warm-up:

  1. The warm-up allows for physiological and psychological preparation for exercise. In other words, it gets you physically and mentally prepared for more intense and harder movement.
  2. Increases blood flow to working muscles
  3. Increases dynamic flexibility in muscles
  4. Helps our nervous system deliver messages to the working muscles and helps the gaseous exchange between our lungs and heart
  5. Reduces the risk of injury because your body is warm, ready and pumped up

 

A warm-up is anywhere between 5-10 minutes. However, a warm up will vary depending on the intensity, type and duration of the workout. If you are working toward a particular fitness goal or if you have never exercised before, seek some advice from a coach or fitness specialist. They will tailor the warm up to your needs.

 

A warm-up includes a combination of the following:

 

Cardiovascular exercise

Basic general movement that will get your heart rate up and oxygen circulating around the body for example running, walking or cycling.

 

Dynamic stretching

Dynamic stretching increases muscles flexibility and increases blood flow to our working muscles. It consists of light movement that allows the muscles to stretch and warm up slowly. Dynamic stretching is best performed during the warm up. Arm circles, leg swings, shoulder rolls and hip rotations are great examples of dynamic stretching.

 

Neuromuscular exercises

Exercise that get the brain and the muscles communicating. Typically these are exercises that resemble the exercises that will be in the workout. You could try squats, wall push-ups and side lunges.

 

Kick-start your work out with this warm up. You can even print our handy Warm Up poster out!

 

WARM UP Repeat x 2

  • Running 1 minute.
  • High knees 30 sec.
  • Bum kicks 30 Sec.
  • Arm circles 30 seconds each direction.
  • Lunges 10 each leg.
  • Squats 1 minute.
  • Wall push-ups 1 minute.

 

warm up

 

Grab a drink of water in between rounds to stay hydrated. Always follow recommendations provided by your health care professional before you begin an exercise regime.

Check out our DIY approach to exercise for more tips on creating your own work out.

Check out more information on why a cool down is important post exercise here.

 

Illustration by Lexi Keelan.

Liz Wensing

Liz Wensing

Liz is a lover of all things health and fitness. Her passion is to educate and empower everyone to live healthy and abundant lives. Liz has spent many years learning everything there is to know about health through formal and informal study. Her favourite drink is chai and yoga pants dominate her wardrobe. While Liz completed a Bachelor of Health Sciences majoring in Health Promotion and Exercise Science and holds a Diploma of Fitness, she is not a doctor. Please consult medical advice if you are unsure of anything in regards to your personal health and fitness.

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