The Importance of Warming Up

Warming up, cooling down and stretching are often overlooked training principles and not widely regarded as necessary for actually achieving our optimum fitness levels.

It’s easy to become overly enthusiastic and rush ourselves into the squats and curls, the presses and lunges that we deem as “real exercise”. When we feel like this, we usually don’t take the time to warm up properly and in doing so, we can sustain injuries that actually slow the process of becoming as fit as we possibly can.

The stretch reflex action is something that protects against injury, and is a muscle contraction within the muscle itself. When a muscle hasn’t been properly prepared for strenuous exercise, this reflex causes it to tighten up, resulting in strains or tearing of the muscle fibres. Warming up causes blood vessels to dilate, this warms the muscles and allows for their optimal elasticity.

A warm up helps you prepare both mentally and physically for exercise by increasing movement of blood through your tissues, making the muscles more supple; increasing delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and improving your coordination and reaction times.

Don’t rush your workout; instead remember that warming up properly is something that all exercise enthusiasts and athletes should look upon as being an essential part of their exercise regimen. 

 

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