Why Warm up Is A Must Before Every Work Out
Many times you must wonder what the need of these warm up; you can start with the regular exercise right away. Even often, athletes show up late to a group workout and start swimming, running or riding with no warm-up.
The question is why warm up necessary?
What is a “good” warm up?
A warm-up activity has two major reasons—improves performance and prevent injuries. A warm-up is a both physical and mental readiness.
In relaxed stage, there is relatively low 15- to 20-percent of blood flow to the skeletal muscles. Most of the capillaries within the muscles are closed. After 10 to 12 minutes of total body exercise, blood flow to the skeletal muscles increases to about 70 to 75 percent and the capillaries open.
With increased blood flow there is an increase in muscle temperature which is needed because hemoglobin in blood releases oxygen more readily at a higher temperature. More blood in the muscles, along with more available oxygen, means better performance.
Scientific studies that link warm up with injury prevention are difficult to for many to agree with. Few athletes want to go through muscle stress test to see what is needed to tear a muscle.
There were human studies on sudden, high-intensity exercise and the effects on the heart. In one study had 44 men who ran on a treadmill at high intensity for 10 to 15 seconds without any warm-up. The ECG data showed that 70 percent of the subjects displayed abnormal ECG changes that were attributed to low blood supply to the heart muscle.
The abnormal changes were not related to fitness level or age.
To cross check the benefit of a warm-up, 22 of the men with abnormal results performed jog-in-place at a moderate intensity for two minutes before running the treadmill for another test. With that small warm-up, 10 of the men showed normal ECG readings and 10 showed improved. Only two of the subjects showed abnormalities.
It is unknown if a more thorough warm-up of say 10 to 20 minutes would have lead to more improvements. The scientists didn’t take the experiment to that additional step.
The warm-up process also triggers readiness for next activity. Mentally preparation is considered to improve skill, technique, and coordination.
How Much Warm Up?
There is no such hard proof how much warm-up is required before a workout or a race. Mostly it is suggested for 10- to 20-minute, though some athletes need more warm-up time.
Athletes with higher fitness level have to do warm-up for longer periods before doing high-intensity workouts or short races. Athletes with lesser levels of fitness opt for a shorter warm-up time. To mention, athletes with low fitness levels tend to yield lower speeds during workouts and races.
Athletes with dormant speed and low fitness levels must be very cautious with workout and race intensities to avoid or minimise injury risk. This means if you were fast sometimes back, but you’re currently out of shape, be patient with building your speed and fitness.
A general suggestion by experts, for warming up is to start with low-intensity cycling, swimming or running. Slowly increase the intensity as you progress through the warm-up period. You might choose to include short segments of slowly increasing intensity in the 30- to 60-second range, with longer rest intervals as you come near to the high-intensity segments of the workout.
To summarise, if you want to put your best and get the best outcome with minimal risk of injuries, take sufficient time for warm-up.
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