Our lives a so busy nowadays, and we often get caught up in the mundane tasks of our everyday life that we find little time to slow down, then if we finally manage to find time to stop for a moment, We find ourselves back into the swing of things before we realize it. I think I can speak for most people when I say it is not a great way to go about things, and it certainly is not healthy or beneficial to our health in much if any way. Now I’m not here to tell you to change, because in reality many of us don’t have a choice, its stop and start almost every day, however it doesn’t have to be like this for everything, and quite frankly it shouldn’t be. Your health is the most important thing you have, whether you know it or not, and it is very important to look after it as best you can, by exercising, eating well and staying positive both mentally and physically, even when time are tougher than usual, we at SportsPower Geelong want to help you be the best version of yourself, by providing you with the right equipment but more importantly, the right mentality to achieve your goals and become the best version of yourself.
As pointless as that little opener might have sounded, it does have some significance in this segment. Although it is important to hear about how important our health is and how we often overlook how important it is in our everyday lives. It is more important to know how to look after yourself in the best way possible to get the most out of yourself, and life in general. Much like I was talking about earlier, constant stopping and starting with our busy lives can be extremely exhausting and unhealthy. I cant stress enough the importance of easing our way into things, being prepared is the best thing we can do for ourselves in almost any aspect of life, and better yet it is the best thing you can do when it comes to exercise and looking after your health.
Getting to the main topic, warming up before working out and cooling down after is commonly overlooked and often completely ignored by many people who are beginners or intermediates when it comes to working out getting in shape. To be straight there is no shame in not doing warm ups for the sole reason that you didn’t know the importance of them, like many things, it is not often taught or even talked about in a workout routine for whatever reason, although after this, hopefully you understand the importance of warm ups and you start implementing them regularly into your workout routines.
The term warmup is very broad and can be quite confronting due to the fact that many people don’t know what a warmup is or mainly how to do one. Lucky for you, there is no way to ‘do’ a warmup. They vary greatly depending on your routine, your current physical fitness, or even just the equipment you have available. However, there is of course basic guidelines you can follow to do a basic, well rounded warm up. Although much like you exercise itself, you want to be doing the right warm ups depending on the type of exercise your doing, for example you don’t want to be doing cardio based warm up if you are planning on doing a strength workout and vice versa. Similarly, you do not want to warm up your arms if you are doing a leg warm up, I think you get the point. It is not necessarily a bad thing to warm up your whole body even if you are only focusing on working out one areas, however it is just slightly more time consuming and is not necessary, especially if you are looking to be as efficient and as focused on one possible are as you can be.
The easiest and most common thing to do before a workout is your basic stretches, and for the most part it is the best thing you can do, however there is a slight misconception that only stretching is a true warmup, however it is ideal to include stretching in your warmup rather than using it as the main part of your warm up. The point of a warmup is to begin to stimulate your muscles to get them prepared for your workout, as well as to get your heart pumping to get more blood flow to your muscles. Stretching is a focus on improving flexibility and range of motion to allow to do certain movements and more easily. Studies have not consistently shown that stretching alone improves muscle soreness or prevents injury quite like a true warm up does, but in combination, it definitely plays a major part in preparing your body for the workout, thus mitigating muscles soreness and risk of injury greatly.
Warmups, literally as the name suggests, is to warm up, it is not meant to be strenuous or hard in the slightest. To give a rough idea of what a warmup might consist of here are a few examples.
The go to warm ups for most people are the ones that you can do by staying in one spot and not having to move around much, these include jumping jacks, pushups, squats, leg swings and lunges. You want to aim for 10 – 20 seconds for each warmup and try to do 10 exercises, whether you do 5 different ones in 2 sets or 10 completely different ones, it is up to you. Alternatively, if you are doing a cardio based workout, you can look to include a little more movement into you warm up, to properly prepare your body. This can include but is not limited to, walking knee hugs, walking lunges, side shuffles, backpedaling or karaoke.
All are just as effective as one another and are very important to implement into your workout routines to prevent injury and decrease post muscle soreness.