Get Ready, Get Set—Warm UpPosted: Jun 19 in Getting Active by
Warming your body up to a workout will increase your performance and prevent injury
Though keeping up with a regular exercise routine will be one of the biggest helps in losing weight with medical weight loss in Fayetteville, the way you warm up can be just as important as the way you work out. Your warm-up will prepare your body for the activity ahead by loosening and heating the muscles, keeping you from injury as you work towards a healthier body.
However, warming up the wrong way can be just as detrimental as not warming up at all. Though specific activities may require you to prepare in specific ways, these general steps should be the basis of your warm-up for any workout and will be the best way to physically and mentally prepare yourself for the exercise to come.
You may start out tense if you’re hitting the gym after a long day at work, so give your muscles some time to loosen and unwind before getting into the hard stuff. Many experts recommend beginning with exercises like foam rolling, which uses a long, cylindrical piece of foam (like a pool noodle, but denser) to apply pressure to sensitive areas of your muscles. By starting with the roller under your back and moving it along every part of your legs, you can loosen up the muscles, decrease density and prevent over-activity.
Pump your heart up
Increasing your heart rate will both activate your nervous system and get blood pumping to your muscles. To accomplish this, try a brisk walk or a ride on an exercise bike. Any light activity will do, so pick one you enjoy that won’t work you too hard before the main event.
Now that your muscles are getting warmer, it’s time to stretch them out. Just be sure not to engage in static stretching, in which you hold a stretch for more than 30 seconds, or this step might actually become detrimental. Instead, try holding each stretch for only a few breaths, releasing and repeating.
Start with a practice round
Before you jump into whatever workout you have planned, run through whatever movements that workout requires at a lower intensity and build up. If strength training is on the agenda, start with lighter weights or even an empty bar. Practicing the patterns of movement that your workout requires of you will build muscle memory and further get your body ready to handle higher levels of intensity.
Of course, the yin to the warm-up’s yang is the cool down, which is equally important to any workout. Remember to gradually bring yourself down from a workout just as you bring yourself up to it to keep your whole workout experience as healthy as possible.