Fitness Junkie

Warm Up to Rev Up
July 16, 2008, 10:02 pm
Filed under: Fitness Fix | Tags: , , ,


Did you include a warm up in your last workout session? 


Our bodies – like a car – runs more efficiently when warmed up.  Yet many tend to forget why we do it in the first place and many even decide to skip it all together and go straight to the workout.  That’s like starting your car in below freezing temperatures and then taking off.  Not to say it hasn’t been done.  If you can remember how your vehicle performed during those first few minutes then you have an understanding of how your body performs when it’s not properly warmed up.


Why warm up?


  •      Reduces risk of injury.  Safety first.  When you warm up, blood vessels dilate as it delivers more oxygen to your muscle cells reducing your chance of injury to muscles and joints.   In a study with teenage handball players, those who were provided a specific warm up had significantly fewer injuries than those who didn’t.   
  •     Initiates mental focus.  Your breathing rate increases when you exercise at a light to moderate pace before your workout.  By focusing on your breath, form, speed and reps what your doing is getting your mind away from your day’s events or wakes you up to start your morning right.  It helps you focus on the now… not on what’s happened or what needs to get done later.
  •     Supplies energy.  An effective warm up prevents early onset fatigue.  What’s an effective warm up?  5 to 10 minutes of activity.  Your rate of perceived exertion (RPE) is how hard you feel your body is working on a scale of 0 (no exertion) to 20 (maximal exertion).  By maintaining your RPE at a moderate intensity (RPE between 12 to 14), your heart rate increases and your body temperature rises revving you up for the strenuous activity ahead.