I hit the gym almost every weekday. And every time before I start lifting weights or treading on the treadmill, I’ll give myself about 10 minutes to thoroughly stretch my body, even if I have decided to work on only one particular muscle group. It is pretty important to warm up consistently each time to avoid unnecessary sprain and injuries. The list will explain why it’s beneficial.
A general warm up :
- raises your body’s core temperature by 1 or 2 degrees Celsius.
- loosens stiff muscles.
- warms the muscles.
- builds muscle elasticity.
- when done properly, it can actually improve performance.
- improves coordination between the joints and muscles of the body.
- circular movements around the joints is a warm up technique that lubricates the entire joint with synovial fluid which allows it to function easier when called upon.
- of 5 minutes of walking or rope jumping will get blood pumping all over the body.
Stretching is an important part of warm up and it should be performed after a general warm up. Stretching :
- should always start with static stretches (stretch to the farthest point and hold the stretch) to prevent overstretching.
- increases your flexibility.
- enhances the body’s ability to learn and perform skilled movements.
- improves mental and physical relaxation. Yoga involves a lot of stretching.
- ‘wakes’ the body up and raises it’s awareness for the next stage.
- reduces risk of injury to joints, muscles, and tendons.
- untangles stiff and tense muscles.
- increases suppleness due to stimulation of the production of chemicals which lubricate connective tissues.
- reduces severity of painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea) in females.
- at the end of a workout / exercise session reduces cramping, tightening, and soreness in fatigued muscles and will make you feel better.
- lightly immediately after maximal exertion is a better way of clearing lactic acid from the blood than complete rest.
- lightly is also a good way to reduce lingering muscle tightness and soreness even when not performed immediately after a workout.