Monday, May 4, 2009
When you have to fit an exercise routine into your already
busy schedule, you might be tempted to simply skip the warm
up routine, even though you’ve heard horror stories about
people getting injured while working out. Three words: don’t
do that. When you skip your warm up, you are not only
putting your body at risk for personal injury, but you are
also making the workout more difficult and less effective.
For the best results, it is important to warm up every time
you work out.
Warming up doesn’t have to eat up the time you allotted for
exercise in your day. In fact, a decent warm up only has
to be 5 minutes long to do its job. It doesn’t have to be
boring either—you can mix up a number of great moves to make
your warm up as fun as the rest of your exercising. Remember
that a good warm up gets all of your muscles moving, even if
you don’t think that you’ll be intensely working out a set
of muscles on any particular day. Warming up is also
important regardless of whether you’re doing cardiovascular
exercises or lifting weights.
The moves you do for a warm up shouldn’t necessarily be
difficult or make you break a sweat. The main goal of the
warm up isn’t to become a part of your workout, but simply
to slowly move muscles that you haven’t really thought about
all day to wake them up. Good moves, therefore, include
things like jogging in place, doing jumping jacks, lunging,
and jumping rope.
A good warm-up can also include slowly stretching your
muscles in a variety of ways, although this is usually more
effective for a cool-down. Also consider exercises that work
on balance and form in order to prepare you for the
exercises you will be doing in the workout.
If you’re really short on time, why not try warming up
before you even get to the gym. Slowly jog or power walk to
the gym, park as far away as possible and lunge to the door,
and take the stairs instead of the elevator. That way, when
you get to the gym to workout your warm up routine is
already half way done.
A good workout always builds in intensity. This is the best
way to shed pounds and maintain a healthy weight. Weight
loss workouts are only risky if you don’t warm up, because
otherwise your body will respond to prevent injuries.
Although you may be tempted to skip this step, that is never
a good idea.