Move more and sit less. While there are health benefits of physical activity, it might be difficult to find the physical activity that fits your current lifestyle. But warming up before exercises is more important.
To help make the decision less complex, professionals have created several guidelines that establish what activities you should choose to reap the substantial health benefits of physical activity.
It is recommended that adults participate in moderate-intensity aerobic activity between 150 minutes to 300 minutes every week. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults who have been out of practice for a sport or are not accustom to physical activity may overestimate their abilities and push themselves to a point of injury.
In fact, the National Safety Council states that exercise-related injuries account for more hospital visits for individuals aged 25 to 65 than any other recreational activity. An easy way to help prevent these physical activity related injuries is to warm up properly.
And that’s why warming up is critical to your fitness success.
The basic principle behind warming up is preparing your body to respond optimally to physical activities. There are three components to consider when you warm up:
- Raise your body temperature – The first step to a proper warm-up is to perform an activity that will allow for comfortable increase in body temperature. This includes increasing your heart rate above resting levels and increasing your breathing rate until you start to perspire. This can be accomplished by walking, riding an exercise bike at a moderate pace, or using an elliptical trainer at a low level.
- Prime your body – Choose specific movements to complete that will mimic the activity you are about to perform. This will help you to stimulate the muscles that will be used during the activity. For example, if you are going to be playing tennis, you would want to complete some bodyweight squats, lunges, lateral shuffles, and shoulder rotations to prepare muscles in your upper and lower body.
- Prep for performance - Gradually perform the actual movements of your planned activity. So, if you are planning on playing a game of singles tennis, you might want to perform some forward, backward, and lateral running with quick stopping movements while changing direction.
If your activities don’t include as much movement variation, then a few minutes of moderate intensity walking, bike riding, or cross training can help warm up your body and prepare you for your planned activities. Researchers have found that well-designed warm-ups have been continuously proven to reduce injuries. So, next time your get ready to participate in your favorite sport or activity, stop and spend a few minutes warming up. Check out some of our best exercise products below to help you warm up before your activities.