Totalfit Blog

4 reasons why warm-up exercises are important

Let’s talk about a touchy subject - Warmup time before a workout. If you’ve ever been to a group fitness class or participated in a sport, you know the workouts always start with some kind of warm up routine that before the actual workout. But now, be honest, how often do you warm up on your own before starting your personal workouts? You have just a little time and think ‘Is the warm up really necessary, anyway?’ It’s so tempting to skip the warmup and jump straight into exercising, BUT, taking the time to properly warm up can offer numerous benefits.

1. Injury Prevention

The most crucial reason to warm up is injury prevention. When you engage in any physical activity, your muscles, tendons, and ligaments are put under stress. If you engage in these activities without warming up, you’re at risk of injury. When you're dedicated to your gym routine and making progress towards your fitness goals, injury is the last thing you want. To prevent this, you’ve got to warm up properly before exercising. It will even increase your body’s capacity to regulate your body temperature, reducing the likelihood of overheating. Injury or overheating could throw you off your path to optimal health.

2. Enhanced Performance

Warming up helps prepare your body for the physical activity that is about to follow. When you warm up, your body gets ready to perform the activity, and this can enhance your performance. Taking time to increase blood flow, move joints through a full range of motion, and increase your heart rate will increase your flexibility, range of motion, and optimize blood flow throughout your body, which are all essential for optimal performance.

3. Mental Preparation

Warm up time is not just about physical preparation, but also mental preparation. We've all been there in that place where we have our mind on a hundred different things and the last thing that we’re focused on is the upcoming physical strain and stress we’re about to endure. Adding a light warmup into your routine give your mind and body a chance to settle in on the task ahead of you. The increased body temperature and heartrate signal your brain to shift from the inward swirl of to-do’s and stressors, to the physical strength output you need. This mental focus increases your physical capacity, keeps you mindful of the task which keeps you safer from injuries and more likely to perform better.

4. Gradual Build-up

Warm is halfway between cold and hot, right? Well, warm ups are designed to gradually build up the intensity of the physical activity and transition from stiff, ‘cold’ muscles to ‘hot’ flexible, mobile joints, muscles, and cardiovascular systems. It's important to start slow and gradually build intensity to avoid sudden shock to your body.
So let’s get our bodies moving and prepared for our upcoming workout!

You know warming up before your workout will yield positive outcomes and lead to greater injury prevention, so why not add a few minutes to the beginning of your workout and prep your body for what’s ahead?

After the workout, what about the cooldown? Must-do or waste of time? Read more about it here.