Why the First 5–10 mins of Your Workout Warm-Up is Important?

Posted in Fitness

We all have our jobs, careers, daily duties, and the pace of life is simply hectic –few people nowadays suffer from an excess of free time. The daily hustle limits the time we are able to spend on our own wellness, self-improvement and fulfillment. Still, public awareness of the important role of regular physical activity is increasing. More and more people are wondering which form of exercise suits them best, and how to fit it into an already packed schedule.

In most cases, this results in giving up on a portion of our warm-up time. Then there are those who skip the warm-up section simply out of laziness, rationalizing that walking up the flight of stairs between the gym and locker room is enough. Not everyone is aware that such “modifications” not only impede the desired effects of training, but also can be dangerous to your health.

Each properly planned workout needs to include all three basic elements: warm-up, proper training and a cool down.

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During Warm-Up, our body reacts just like a car engine – it needs some time to reach its optimal working temperature, and after parking it needs to cool down. Generally speaking, our warm-up prepares the cardiovascular, nervous and musculoskeletal systems for the subsequent effort, through a gradual increase of intensity.

The heart rate and efficiency increases. This raises the body's temperature and supplies the muscles with resources needed for their work. A faster circulation of blood removes toxic products allowing muscles to work more efficiently. Lungs accelerate in a similar manner. Due to a larger amount of blood supplied by the heart, the efficiency of oxygen transfer is increased. Also, the brain receives a signal for the release of various chemical substances, such as adrenaline, which not only affect our physical capabilities, but also provide a psychological incentive to overcome the increasing degrees of difficulty.

Warming up also increases the length and temperature of our muscles. Compared to right after waking up, the difference in muscle length after a decent warm-up goes up to 20%. A properly warmed-up muscle works more efficiently and is less susceptible to injury.

Our bones and joints also need proper treatment. During physical activity, a greater amount of the so-called, “synovial fluid” is produced, so that the friction between the articular surfaces is reduced, and this results in a significant reduction of injury risk.

It is difficult to identify the specific intensity and duration of the warm-up for everyone. In general warm-up should not be shorter than 5-8 minutes of moderate exercise (while not exceeding 50% of maximum heart rate). Older people benefit from a longer warm-up, up to about 15 minutes. The importance of warm-up cannot be overstated. Regardless of the type, intensity, level of difficulty of the activity and personal fitness level, this part of the training must be treated extremely seriously for better health outcomes.

If you want to know what form of warm-up is perfect for you, get in contact with our Personal Trainers.

Lidia Zamyłko
Regional Business Studio Manager
Holmes Place Poland

Posted in Fitness