Although warm-up exercises don’t contribute anything to building muscles or burning calories, they should form an integral part of your workout. But what makes warm-up exercises and a few stretches so important to a successful workout? There are several reasons why you should complete a warm-up routine before you even think of doing any form of exercise. Here are 5 of the most important reasons to include warm-ups in your workout sessions:
1. Raises your Body Temperature
A good warm-up will help increase your body and muscle temperature so that you will be able to perform strenuous exercises with more ease. As your body temperature increases it allows your muscles to contract and relax more easily, releasing much-needed oxygen into your bloodstream. Your heart muscles are also being prepared so that they take less strain when you start your workout.
2. Reduces the Risk of Injury
Anyone who works out regularly knows how far an injury can put you back from reaching your goals. Warming up is crucial to avoiding injury as it will improve muscle elasticity making it less likely that you will strain a muscle or overheat during your workout. Simple warm-up exercises include jogging on the spot, cycling, and slowly stretching your muscles.
3. Helps to Mentally Prepare you for a Workout
Jumping straight into exercising without first preparing can not only affect you physically but also mentally. During a warm-up session, you have time to mentally prepare your mind for your planned workout and you will be less likely to give up when tired or things become difficult. Thinking about the reasons why you are working out and preparing yourself mentally for what lies ahead will ensure a more satisfying and successful workout.
4. Increased Flexibility to Perform other Exercises
Stretching is done as part of a regular warm-up routine as it helps to increase the flexibility of your muscles. Stretching increases blood flow to the muscles allowing your body to become more flexible. In the short and long term, increased flexibility is crucial to improved performance. Stretching after completing your warm-up exercises is recommended as stretching before your muscles have warmed up can lead to injury.
5. Prepares you to Tackle Heavy Duty Machine Exercises at the Gym
Machines can help you build muscle faster but they should never be tackled before you have warmed up your muscles and loosened your joints. Warming up exercises prepares your body and mind for the task of handling heavy gym equipment as well as reducing the risk of injuring yourself.