It can always be pretty tempting to jump straight into your workout and skip the warm up. This can really do more damage than good in the long run for your muscles and joints. Warming up is not static stretching and usually should consist of low key cardiovascular exercises like walking or jogging before running. Most of the time the more intensely you plan to exercise the longer you will need to warm up. For most people, between 5 and 30 minutes is great. Warming up will:
- Help your heart prepare for the extra workload. Warming up is a way of preparing your body for exercise. It’s like the same way as you would think of warming up your car before driving on a cold day. Low-intensity warm ups gradually increase heart rate and circulation so you are better prepared to handle higher intensity exercise.
- Loosen your joints for flexibility. You will perform with greater power and it’s less likely you’ll injure yourself due to stiff joints. As your body temp increases you’ll loosen your joints and increase blood flow to your muscles. This means less stress on joints and tendons. Warm, well-lubricated joints prepare the body to execute sudden and explosive movements with ease.
- Enhances performance. Warm-ups give you time to prepare mentally for your workout. Know that spending time warming up time will help you perform with more flexibility, speed, and strength. When your body is better able to handle the demands you make on it with exercise you may have less soreness/ stiffness later.