Remember back in the day when the first ten minutes of P.E class consisted of boring stretches? Did the teacher think we were all senior citizens and had trouble moving around? At that moment, we thought that it was all just a big waste of time. However, as we get older, we can start to realise the benefits of warming up each time before starting your fitness routine.
Warming up gently prepares your body for exercise, as it slowly raises your heart rate and gets the blood flowing. In addition, it will improve flexibility in your joints and muscles. Think of your body like your car - you don’t want to take it out of the garage and go from 0 to 100 in the first few seconds. Treat your body the same way! Gradually increase your workload as your training continues further. If you don’t, there is a good chance of injury from a sudden strenuous movement.
So, what are a few great ways to warm up before exercise? Those stretches you did when you were younger is a good start. If you are wanting to do some running either on the treadmill or outside, start with a brisk walk and then turn it into a slow jog before you run at your full speed. If you enjoy doing strength training, always start with a warm-up weight that is much lighter than your maximum weight. This prepares your muscles and joints for that movement, so that there is less of an opportunity for being injured.
Warm ups into your fitness routine will add a few minutes here and there into your workouts. However, it could save you from missing months of working out if you suffer an injury you could have easily avoided. We may not have quite needed those stretches when we were kids in that P.E class, but it definitely did prepare us for how we should treat our body later on in life.