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Is a Warmup Really Necessary?



Tell the truth, have you been skipping your warmups lately?


Sometimes I can not be bothered to warm up and just go straight into my workout. You know that feeling right? It could be very tempting. Whether you are short for time, want to hurry up and get your workout over with, or just not a fan of it, a warmup is essential!


Tip #1: Be consistent with your warmups so you do not fall off track! Remember, a warmup does not have to be super long, 5-10 minutes alone makes a huge difference compared to doing nothing. Do not fall into the trap of skipping your warmups.


Here are 3 reasons why warmups are beneficial:


#1 Reduce the risk of injury

If you have been injured in the past, you know that injuries are no fun. Warming up increases blood circulation, which will increase your body and muscle temperature. Think of your muscles as an ‘elastic band’, if you pull the band quickly it will most likely snap right away. If you spend majority of your day sedentary and you decide to go right into a workout, it automatically increases the risk for an injury to occur. Your cold, inactive, and unstretched muscles will get pulled apart quickly and risk a higher chance of being pulled/strained. If you keep skipping your warmups, think about constantly pulling on a elastic band daily, after a while it becomes wear and tear and eventually breaks. Sometimes injures can build up over time!


#2 Improve performance

As blood flow increases, it supports the body by facilitating the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to working muscles which improves power and endurance, range of motion, and neuromuscular function. It allows your muscles to contract and relax faster when exercising or training.


#3 Prepare for your workouts better

A warmup should help prepare you for your chosen workout, mentally and physically. It should really mimic the movements that replicate the workout you are about to do.


There are many misconceptions of what your warmup should include. For example, dynamic or static stretching. Static stretching is when you hold a stretch for at least 30 seconds (e.g., reaching down to touch your toes). However, static stretching may not have the best desired effect to prepare your body for your planned workout as you are not replicating any of the motions that you are about to perform, and it does not warm up your muscles. Studies have shown that performing static stretching for your warmup can negatively impact your performance and contribute to risking an injury. In my opinion, a warmup should mainly include dynamic stretching as it involves movement (e.g., high knees). It will prepare your body for everything it needs; increases muscle length, circulation, and range of motion. My suggestion would be to mainly include dynamic stretching in your warmup routine and include static stretching in your cool down routine, or include both within your warm up!


Keep at it,

Kia

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