4 Reasons to Warm Up Before You Workout
Why are warm ups so important?
Why can’t I just start working out to shorten my complete work out time? I don’t have time for a warm up or a cool down. Why are cool downs important? These are some questions every beginner and some advanced clients ask. So let’s keep it to the basics.
No one wants to waste time.
We all have a lot to do and only have a certain amount of time for working out. If you are anything like me, 30 minutes is the perfect amount of time for a workout. I can get it done when the kids are resting or watching their favorite show. I can work out in the morning while they are still waking up! And most importantly for me, it is the right amount of time to burn some good calories! If you only have 30 minutes, you want to get the MOST out of your workout. You want the most calories burned. And you want to feel great after! Most importantly, you want to get it over with! HA! I mean working out is one of my absolute favorite things but I don’t like to waste time when I am doing it!
Warming up is crucial for starting a workout. But why is warming up so important?
4 Reasons to Warm up Before you Workout
- It increases blood flow to active muscles
- Warm up can increases metabolic rate
- It increases soft tissue flexibility
- Lastly, it increases mental readiness for exercise
Increased blood flow to the active muscles leads to an increase in heart and respiratory rate, which then leads to an increase in metabolic rate.
Increased metabolic rate = increased metabolism which means burning more calories! YES! Burning calories means losing weight! I’m all for that.
Warming up can increase soft tissue flexibility! And another yes for me! Flexibility is KEY when it comes to fitness. Not only can it help you improve function but it can also help you increase joint range of motion. And can help prevent injury!
Increased mental readiness for exercise means the warm up actually prepares your mind for the workout ahead. When you do a specific warm up and mimic the actual workout you are about to partake in, you are getting your mind and muscles ready for the work!
Here are some simple stretches and exercises you can do for a warm up before any workout!
With each stretch, you should hold for 30 seconds.
Arm Circles forward and back
With the following dynamic exercises, do 1-2 sets of 10-15 repetitions. (For examples of these dynamic exercises, check out this post.)
Jogging in place
Forward Lunges (alternating)
Not only do these warm ups get your blood pumping, but they are also great exercises you can do at home with no weights needed! Just do each in tabata style (20 seconds of work and 10 second rest) for 8 cycles each exercise! Doing these exercises as a Tabata would be a total of 32 minutes not including warm up and cool down. I downloaded a tabata app onto my phone to help me time out my tabatas. If you are a beginner and want to take it a bit easier, you could do half a tabata for one exercise, half for the second exercise. Check out this post for more on tabatas!