Warm-Up and Why?

The warm-up; for some strange reason this activity is loathed by so many people. Very often I get the told "Oh I'm already warmed up; I walked here" or "I ran up the stairs to get here so we can probably skip warm-up". Well, I've got news for you, the answer is no. For no reason on any day will we be skipping warm-up and here's why:

1. Injury Prevention- The gradual rise in heart rate, rather than immediate, exerts less stress on the heart. This elevation in heart rate will increase blood flow which will in turn prepare the joints and muscles for exertion as well as get oxygen to the muscles faster. More oxygen to the muscles means that they will be able to contract faster and more efficiently. 

2. Physical Assessment- I use my dynamic warm-up with my clients as a way to assess and recognize any issues that may be arising or any asymmetry that is going on. I have had several occasions where I see a client moving differently from normal and it happens to be an issue that they haven't mentioned or they have overlooked. It is better to catch potential problems during this stage rather than during the workout where things can be easily exasperated. 

3. Mental Preparedness- This is a point that it often overlooked but very important. Having a proper warm-up gets your head in the right space to focus on what is to come and properly prepare. More often than not, a skipped warm-up contributes to a lack lustre workout.  

So whether it is one the bike, treadmill, or rower, the warm up is not to be skipped. It is just as crucial as the body of the workout and should be treated as such. Warm up! Your body will thank you for it!!