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Most of us are trying to fit workout in our busy schedule, thus many a times we skip the warm-up and jump right into the main workout as we believe that is what is "more important". However a warm-up routine is very vital and skipping it or doing it incorrectly can lead to issues that you cannot even think of.
Think of your body as a car in cold weather, it is advisable to first let your car heat up and then take it out for a spin. Similarly, a warm-up session gradually increases our body temperature and prepares it for the strenuous activities ahead.
5 Reasons why you should warm up before working out:
- It Increases Blood Circulation: When your body is not in motion, the blood vessels (capillaries) within your skeletal muscles are shut and produces a relatively low 15 -20 % of blood flow to the muscle cells as compared to 70 - 75 % after you exercise for about 10 to 15 minutes. The increase in blood flow is due to the opening of the capillaries. Increased blood circulation makes your muscles more pliable and it makes your body ready for the hardcore workout.
- It Reduces the Risk of Injury: Warm up sessions results in increased body and muscle temperature. Properly warmed up muscles makes your soft tissues suppler, therefore reducing the probability of getting a muscle tear. Increased body temperature makes your muscle more elastic, thus lowering the chances of getting a muscle pull or a strain.
If you are pressed for time, you can skip the last 10 minutes of your cardio session or skip a meal if you absolutely have to. But if you skip your warm up and end up with a muscle pull or strain, it can result in a long period of inactivity and rehabilitation. Think before you chose.
- It Increases Flexibility and Joint Safety: Warm up increases blood circulation to ligaments and tendons, thus helping them become more flexible. Immobile joints bounds’ your ability to move efficiently, slows you down, and reduces your power and are more prone to injury. A warm-up can also help improve the range of motion in your joints. It helps the joints to prepare themselves for the upcoming stress from your workout.
- Prepares You Mentally: A warm up session helps you get in the groove, it keeps your mind relaxed and positive and away from the day stresses. It keeps up your concentration throughout the workout session.
- Enhances Performance: Properly warmed up muscles are able to contract and relax at a faster rate and with more force. It Increases the supply of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles which prevents you from getting out of breath too easily. The increase in oxygen also helps in preparing your heart gradually for the rigorous activity ahead, thus preventing a rapid increase in blood pressure. It helps in improving your nerve-to-muscle pathways communication, resulting in quicker reaction times and more coordination and agile movements.
To perform at your best and minimize the risk of hurting yourself, take time for an adequate warm-up.
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