If you play sport or exercise on a regular basis, then you may already know the importance of warming up before physical exertion. There are different warm ups you can mix into your daily routine, as well as specific warm ups that shouldn’t be ignored if you hope to avoid injury.
Is a Warm Up Completely Necessary?
The simple answer to the above question is “yes.” Even though you’re going to be breaking a sweat soon enough (either through a sporting game or your own workout regime), it’s still vital that you give your body a chance to prepare for what’s to come.
The scientific purpose of a warm up is to help your circulatory system in pumping oxygen and blood to your working muscles i.e. you need to get your blood flowing, and in the right direction. Essentially, you’re heating your body in a gradual way. Because participating in a sport or exercising can sometimes be overwhelming to the body, it needs those few moments as part of a warm up to get ready. Muscles that aren’t warmed up don’t handle rapid exertion too well, often resulting in pain and injury.
If you have a potential or current injury, a warm up can help you detect the issue before it becomes a significant problem. For instance, if you’re unaware of a knee injury, a simple stretch before your exercise could alert you of this injury before it worsens.
Other important reasons behind warming up include, but are not limited to: prevention of getting out of breath too easily or quickly, preparing muscles for stretching, getting your heart ready for an increase in activity, and more.
Different Types of Warm Ups
There are several different types of warm ups you can take part in before fully exerting your body. The type of physical activity you are going to be doing should influence the duration and type of warm up you perform.
Light activity is recommended at first, such as walking or easy jogging, just to get the heart rate up and blood flowing. Stretches should then take place, stretches that encompass the arms, shoulders, chest, legs, and back. Bending down to touch your toes, balancing the weight of your body to the right and then to the left, and reaching your arms over your head are just a few examples.
Warm ups are usually necessary before participating in any sport. For instance, baseball players will usually warm up their arms and upper bodies before a game. The opposite could be said for football players, as these athletes usually focus their attention to their thighs, legs, and feet.
There are other ways to warm up, as well as cool down (it’s equally important to stretch and wind down after a game or exercise as it is to warm up beforehand). It’s important to find different warm ups that you not only enjoy doing, but ones that are going to aid the muscles, joints, and parts of your body you are going to be using during your sporting event or workout.
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This is a guest post by Kate Simmons, a freelance writer and blogger. You can find her health-related articles on various blogs.