Are You Warm Enough?

Whether engaging in a simple cardio exercise or a strenuous training regimen, warming up is essential. Without a proper warm-up, you’re placing yourself at increased risk for sprains, cramps or injuries. A proper warm up can increase the blood flow to the working muscle which results in decreased muscle stiffness, less risk of injury and improved performance.warm up1 Are You Warm Enough?

It is worth noting the difference between warming-up and stretching. Warming-up is done to increase blood flow to the body and “warm” the muscles…essentially preparing the body for increased movement just as you’d warm your car before driving in the winter.  Stretching should be saved for after the workout, when the body is fully warmed and muscles more flexible, as stretching a cold muscle can actually increase the risk of injury from pulls and tears.

Typical Warm up Exercises Include:

Think of gradually increasing the intensity of your specific sport – for example a runner may start with a few leg swings, then some walking, a jog, and gradually increasing in speed to their sustained running pace.  A baseball player may start with some arm swings before starting some gentle, short throws that gradually increase in distance and speed.

warm up 1 Are You Warm Enough?

Other ways to warm-up include basic calisthenics without weights – movements such as bodyweight only squats, push-ups, arm and leg swings, and toe touches. The warm-up does not have to be extensive, and may vary based on the needs of the individual.

Which is the Best Fit?

Try warming up in several ways and at a number of intensities until you find what works best for you. Bear in mind that the perfect warm-up is an individual process that may take some experimentation, practice, and experience.

Come and talk to our personal trainers to see how you can find the right balance between holiday cheer and staying fit for life. You’ll find them at Fit for Life Personal Fitness Training, 2126 Jackson-Keller Rd., San Antonio, Texas 78213. Follow us on Twitter for the latest tips, tricks, and updates!

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