Wait, a warm-up is not just a 3-minute long run?
It might be a surprise for you, but a warm-up actually consist of stretches and light cardiovascular exercises. And it lasts longer. Way longer than 3 minutes.
And why should I do it, cannot I just skip it?
Those exercises increase the heart rate, blood flow and body temperature. Stretching loosens the joints, warms the muscles and prepares them for further sudden movements. Explosive strength exercises such as sprint drills and jumps are also very helpful as you have to use your whole body to do them. You will be both physically and mentally ready for the real thing.
How much time do I have to spend on it?
It strongly depends on the sport that will be practiced later, as each activity requires a different preparation time. However, a warm up session usually lasts about 25 minutes, which is enough for the body to gradually get ready for physical activity. Sorry to disappoint you, but it is eight times longer than expected.
What about injuries? Does it prevent them?
Doing a warm up is essential for preventing injuries while exercising. When the muscles are kept warm, injuries such as strains rarely occur, as the body is safely and steadily prepared for doing sports. Now that you have read some of the benefits of doing it, we offer you the best exercises for a short warm up!
- Start with a light run for about 5-7 minutes. Athletes usually warm up with a 10-15 minutes long run, but do not force yourself to do that if you are not well-prepared.
- Include some rotations with your neck and waist then your arms and legs should follow
- Stretch your whole body just for 3-5 minutes, touch your toes with your hands for instance
- A few jumping jacks? 50 to 100? Okay, just kidding, even 10 of them will have a great impact on your body
- Do a few lifts with very light weights if you are about to hit the gym.
To conclude, warming up before doing physical activity is highly important for being healthy and happy. It is not to forget that your mind will be relaxed and ready for the ongoing challenges. If it turns out that you do not enjoy doing a warm up as much as you have expected, try to find another approach to it, do not skip it. Do NOT skip that part. You could play your favourite songs or do it with a training buddy, it would be much funnier.