Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or a light exerciser, knowing the basics when it comes to sports warm up can save you a lot of pain from stretched muscles or tendons.
What is a Warm Up?
Exercises are usually strenuous and need an immense supply of blood and some degree of body flexibility. Warm ups are mild exercises that prepare you for the more intense exercise to follow. If you’re thinking of it as a waste of time then you need to think again. Doing 5 minutes of warm up is certainly better than 50 minutes of icing a painful injury!
How Warm Ups Benefit You?
Warm ups can help you through several ways:
- Your body needs oxygen and nutrients for all the activities you do – even for the blink of an eye. These nutrients are supplied by the blood, which in turn is supplied to the body by the heart. During exercise, the oxygen and nutrient demands of your body parts increase immensely. If you warm up before exercises, this gradually takes your heart to its higher level of function. Without that, you’re doing nothing but overloading your heart. You’ll end up nowhere with your exercise and will fatigue early.
- Your joints are mobile structures supported by other structures like ligaments and tendons. These strong, yet flexible, structures make sure that you can run, sprint, jog and swim without any difficulty. If you warm up your body, the tension between your tendons and ligaments decreases. This allows you to exercise freely without the fear of snapping a ligament or a tendon. Proper warm up can save you from injuries like ankle sprain, calf muscle injuries, groin strain and so on.
- Warm up increases the range of motion of your body joints by 20 - 30%.
- Last, but not least, a proper warm up routine increases your breathing rate and the depth of respiratory gradually. This is important as it’ll supply adequate oxygen to your muscles and other bodily organs during the period of intense workouts.
What is an Ideal Warm Up Routine?
The best, and perhaps the easiest thing you can include in your warm up sessions are a couple of stretching exercises. These exercises move your muscles and joints to their fullest extent and make sure they remain in one piece in the exercise to follow.
If you’re a sports enthusiast then here are a few warm up routines you should definitely follow before you hit the gym or the training ground.
- Cardio: Laps! Run with your team members and prepare your heart and lungs. Running, at mild pace, for 30-45 minutes before the actual match can help you a lot!
- Stretching: Stretch, stretch and stretch! This is another effective way you can reduce the chances of injury and optimize your performance.
- Light Body Weight Training: Light body weight training exercises, like push ups, pulls ups, crunches, lunges etc. can also be done for warming up the body!