Why Warming up Works
For some people the warm up period of a workout is simply a waste of time that cuts into time they’d rather be spending doing the ‘real’ workout. However, according to recent research, not only does warming up help to prevent injury and problems down the road, but it is also essential to improved performance. Warming up is not simply a way to get yourself into the exercise frame of mind, but it will also make each workout more effective and more beneficial.
Warming up involves simply getting your body slowly ready to engage in more vigorous physical activity. Warming up can therefore involve anything that increases the heart rate and warms the body from the inside up. The benefits of so doing go far beyond preventing injury however. Warming up will actually make your workouts better.
Warming up increases the muscle temperature in your body. Warmer muscles can contract more forcefully and release more quickly. What this means is that you will have better strength and speed during your workout when a proper warm up routine is engaged in prior to beginning. Thus, not only is injury less likely with warm muscles, but your muscles will also work better during each session.
Blood vessels also dilate better when you are warmed up. This process can reduce the blood flow resistance which might place stress on the muscles of the heart. A slow warm up is therefore better both for your muscles and for your cardiovascular system as a whole.
Increased body temperature also means increased blood temperature. Increasing the temperature of the blood means that it releases more oxygen to the muscles of your body. Warmer blood can hold less oxygen, meaning that it releases greater amounts to your working muscles. More oxygen for working muscles allows for enhanced performance and greater endurance.
Besides all of these physical benefits a good warm up also gets your mind ready for the task at hand. Intense workouts, weight lifting programs and cardiovascular challenges require focus and concentration. By moving slowly into the zone you will be better ready to accept these challenges and go beyond your usual limitations.
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