How to Warm Up Before a Workout
By Genevieve Cunningham
One of the most important parts of any workout is one that many of us like to skip. The warm-up. Many find the warming up part of the exercise routine a bit slow. It just seems to delay the inevitable, and so for many, it's easy to justify jumping right into the middle of your program. But as it turns out, the warm-up is actually incredibly important. It prepares our body for what's ahead, and without it, we're leaving ourselves more open to injury. If you need some tips for warming up before your next workout, take a look at these helpful tips.
Stretching is crucial to preparing your muscles for exercise. A good stretch can ease tension, promote blood flow, and widen your range of motion. This combination lowers the risk of injury and heightens the effectiveness of the workout. Don't rush through this process, even though it's probably tempting to do so. Take your time, learn to love the stretch, and you'll be improving your workouts for years to come.
You don't have to sprint before you exercise, but a very light jog might get your body prepared. It gets your heart pumping and wakes up your muscles. Choose a short trail, and jog very slowly before you begin the intense part of your workout. If you warm up properly, your entire workout will be easier, more comfortable, and more effective every time.
It's probably not what you expected, right? Meditation is not one of those often talked about warm-up measures. But if you sit for a quick and easy (think two minutes or less!) meditation before you work out, you're more likely to feel calm and to stay in the moment. And the more in the moment you are, the more you can focus on each move and each body part. Don't take it overboard, but take a few minutes to collect your thoughts, relax your mind and body, and become present before you jump into your next routine. You may be surprised at how big of an effect this has on your overall health.
Warming up should be a part of your workout, no matter what you're doing or for how long. Our bodies need the process. And truthfully, our minds need it, too! Use these tips to get yourself warmed up and ready to work out. Though it might be hard to force yourself to get it done in the beginning, it will soon be part of your workout, and the positive effects will be enough to keep you going.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Westminster, Colo.