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Gemma's brief info for warming up prior to exercise

Warming up before exercise, who has time for that, right? However you would be surprised at how much of a difference warming up can have on your body, and the benefits it can provide for your workout. Studies show that not only does warming up decrease risk of injury, but it can also help to enhance athletic performance and endurance.

By warming up before exercising, you prepare the cardiovascular system by increasing your body temperature and blood flow. When your muscles go into a workout with already increased blood flow, they will be able to perform better and are less likely to be injured. If you were to start a workout without warming up prior, your muscles are unprepared and your body has to work harder during your workout to increases its body temperature and blood flow. This will cause a decrease in endurance and performance of your muscles and increase your risk of injury.

As well as warming up your body be increasing your heart rate, it is also a good idea to stretch before working out to increase range of movement in your joints. Studies show that dynamic stretching within a warmup will be more beneficial to increase range of movement and muscle performance and decrease risk of injury than static stretching. If you are warming up for exercise such as running, cycling and swimming, your warm up can be as simple as walking/jogging, gentle cycling and gentle swimming respectively for 10 minutes, along with some dynamic stretches before starting your actual workout.

Easy ways to warm up can include:

  • Light/no weighted exercises using the muscles you intend to use in your workout

  • Increasing heart rate by starting exercise at lower intensity than that of your workout e.g walking, jogging, cycling, swimming

  • Dynamic stretching of muscles you intend to use

Here is a short video of the warm up I like to use when exercising. The stretches/movement I do are:

  • Star jumps

  • Running on the spot

  • Squats

  • Shoulder circles

  • Leg swing

  • Lunges

  • Mountain climbers

  • Thread the needle

  • Cat cow

If you would like further information about the benefits of warming up, check out the studies below:


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