Most of us are aware of the importance of warming up before exercising but often tend to ignore this vital component of exercise by rushing straight into our routine. This is seriously not a good idea! Besides the immense benefits of warming up, neglecting it could result in injury.
Benefits of a proper warm up
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased oxygen consumption
- Dilation of the blood vessels
- Prevention of injury
An effective warm up should consist of two distinct components:
- Graduated cardio warm-up activity, eg, walking or slow tempo rhythmic movements.
- Flexibility exercise specific to the bio mechanical nature of the primary conditioning activity. For example, calf, front thigh and Achilles stretching prior to running or hiking.
Experts agree it is best to hold the long stretches at the end of a workout or after doing a graduated slow cardio warm up, when the muscles are warm and pliable. Therefore, not advisable to jump out of bed in the morning and dive straight into your yoga routine!
Rushing your warm up could cause lactic acid to build up, leading to fatigue early in your workout. The warm up should gradually increase the heart rate, blood pressure, elasticity of the active muscles and the heat produced by the active muscle groups.
A safe warm is three to five minutes in warm weather and about seven minutes in colder weather. Never ever neglect this important part of your training.