Everyone knows that they should warm up prior to engaging in physical activity but many of us either entirely skip the warm-up or mindlessly do a few moves that we’ve always done and get on with the day. Here is why we should make a bit more effort to warm-up properly and how to do it.
- Warming up means raising your core body temperature and getting the body focused and ready for more rigorous movement. Even if it’s hot outside, a proper warm-up is necessary for the safety of your joints, muscles, nerves, and cardiorespiratory system. Without a proper warm-up, you are subjecting your body to injury.
- Warming up prepares you both physically and mentally for what you are about to do. Skimping out on your warm-up will make it harder to focus and engage fully in your activity from the beginning, losing out on precious training time and energy.
- The how! A warm-up should be activity-specific and modified based on personal needs. All effective warm-ups should:
- increasing heart-rate and circulation: move around until you are lightly sweating and breathing heavier.
- Mobilize joints: Move your joints through their individual range of motion. Perform movements that are similar to what you will be doing in your activity.
- Lengthen muscles: In a dynamic stretch using your breath and wave-like motions. Remember that there are many different forms of stretching and that you should not hold stretches longer than 15 seconds until after an activity is complete.
- An effective warm-up lasts 15-20 minutes, longer at the start of the day and shorter after other activity or if preparing for mild to easy movements. Remember to take a few minutes to re-connect with your body and perform some warm-up moves if you’ve taken a break.
- By the end of your warm-up you should be lightly sweating, breathing heavier than normal, and our joints and muscles should move easily through your range of motion.
- FST can be performed to achieve all the goals of a proper warm-up prior to a workout or event by a trained practitioner. Contact me if you would like to learn more!