The Importance of a Good Warm Up

Before jumping into your strength training routine, you should always begin your exercise session with a light warm up of some kind. The warm up often gets skipped, especially if time is short but it is a very important piece of your exercise routine that should be incorporated every single time.

When you warm up you are taking your body from a resting state and getting it moving. This usually means some kind a cardiovascular activity. It can be walking, running, biking, jumping jacks, skipping, anything to get your body moving. You don’t want to surprise your body at the beginning of a workout by walking into the gym and beginning with weight lifting.

Once you start moving a few things happen. Your heart rate will start to elevate from it’s current resting state. This will get more blood flowing out to your muscles which helps to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles during exercise.

Your body temperature will begin to rise. This gets your muscles warmer and better prepares them for the exercise ahead and helps to prevent injuries from loading cold, unprepared muscles.

The third and one of the most important reasons for a warm up is to give you a few minutes to get the days worries, stresses and demands out of your head and to switch your focus to the workout ahead. Clear your mind and mentally prepare for your workout. You don’t want to be distracted during your workout and mindlessly go through it. You should be focused to get the most out of it.

For a good warm up all you need is 5 minutes of continuous light movement that gets your heart rate up, gets you feeling warmer, maybe even a light sweat started and lets your body and mind know to get ready for exercise.