We usually like to see warm ups that are anywhere from 8-10 minutes in length.
Purpose of the Warm Up:
- increases blood flow to the muscles, which enhances the delivery of oxygen and nutrients;
- warms your muscles, which promotes the energy-releasing reactions used during exercise and makes the muscles more supple;
- prepares your muscles for an increase in activity;
- prepares your heart for an increase in activity;
- prepares you mentally;
- readies your nerve-to-muscle pathways to be ready for exercise; and
- prevents unnecessary stress and fatigue being placed on your muscles, heart and lungs, which can occur if you exercise strenuously without a warm-up;
- basically prepares the body for exercise and decreases chance of injury.
Warm ups are generally low intensity, full body activities.
Activities you can try:
- Brisk walk;
- Slow jog;
- Low intensity movements on any cardio equipment
- Dynamic stretching
Here is a sample warm-up:
- Slow jog for 3 minutes;
- Jog with knees up – 1 minute;
- Jog with heel kickbacks – 1 minute;
- Jog with arm circles – 1 minute
- Dynamic stretching – 2 minutes
• Dynamic stretching is simply gentle stretching while moving. For example: side to side lunge stretches so that there you are constantly moving from side to side in a side lunge position, moving deeper into the stretch as the muscles further warm up. Add an overhead arm stretch with the lunges to make this a total body stretch