STOP! You’re Warming Up Wrong: The Right Way to Start Your Workout
There’s no denying the importance of a thorough warm-up before you begin your workout. Not only can warming up help to prevent injuries, but a proper warm-up could even help you perform better and burn more calories during your exercise. Unfortunately, if there are a lot of common mistakes people make while warming up before a workout. By keeping a few important guidelines in mind as you prepare for your next workout, you’ll be in better shape to avoid injuries and enjoy a successful exercise session.
One of the most common injuries people suffer from during workouts is that of pulled muscles. And often times, this results from a lack of stretching as part of a warm-up routine. Your muscles and joints need to gradually work their way up to the strenuous activity you’re about to subject them to, regardless of whether you’re knocking out a cardio or weight-lifting session. Take the time to stretch out your legs, arms, and any specific muscles you plan on targeting during your workout. Yoga stretches are a great option here.
Get the Heart Rate Going
In addition to warming up your muscles and joints to prevent injury, you should also gradually ease your heart into your workout. Failing to get your heart rate going gradually before your workout could be dangerous to your health, putting too much sudden stress on your circulatory and pulmonary system. Generally, five minutes of light cardio is enough to get the heart rate going; this could include anything from brisk walking to jumping jacks or anything in between. Take the time to check your heart rate every couple of minutes, and aim for a gradual increase until you’re ready to tackle your workout.
Set it to Music
Get your workout off on the right foot by setting your warm-up to some high-energy music that gets you motivated. Music with high beats-per-minute (or high tempo) will help increase your energy levels. Consider starting with music that has a mild tempo during your warm-up, then working your way up to a higher tempo as you ease into your actual exercise routine for the day. You might be surprised what a difference the right music can make.
Ease Into Your Workout
Finally, take some time to get your body used to the motions you’re about to put it through right before you begin your workout. For example, if you’re going to be lifting weights, consider lifting just the dumbbell (with no added weight) as part of your warm-up; this will help get your body used to the range of motion and form. If you’re going to be doing a cardio workout, ease your body through the motions slowly before you dive in.
These are just a few tips to help improve your warm-ups, this reducing your chances of injury during your next workout. Be sure to keep these tips in mind for a more successful workout experience overall.
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