How To Warm Up Before Exercise

By Ash 22nd October 2021 Category: Advice

The key to any weight loss is to consume fewer calories than you burn, which is most effectively achieved through dieting. But doing exercise and cutting calories can help maintain your weight loss and keep it off in the long term. Exercise not only burns calories but keeps you motivated and improves your general health and well-being.

Before doing any type of exercise, however, it’s really important to warm up first. We discuss why you should warm-up and some of the best ways to do it in this blog.

Why Warm Up?

You might think of athletes doing stretches as performance preparation and think you’re certainly not expecting to be doing an Olympic performance. But it’s important to warm up your muscles for any workout, from spin class to yoga.

There are many benefits of a warm up. By incorporating a warm-up routine, you can exercise harder, reduce the likelihood of injury, and feel better and more motivated to do the exercise ahead.

By warming up, you wake up your body, sending the message that you’re about to exercise, which helps your muscles and cardiovascular system prepare.

Warm-up exercises:

  • Increase body and muscle temperature, sending blood to active muscles.
  • That increase in temperature in turn, increases the rate of energy production.
  • Your muscles will contract and reflex faster.
  • Decrease the likelihood of damage to tendons, ligaments and muscles.
  • Reduces any stress to the heart.
  • You feel more ready to participate.

No matter what exercise you are doing or what level you are at, warm-up exercises should always be incorporated into your exercise routine.

Types Of Warm Up

There are three basic types of warm up:

  • Passive – The least effective of the three methods consists of using an external form of heat, like a sauna or steam room. Some people use a warming gel applied to the skin. This is not effective as it does not increase the temperature deep within the muscles.
  • General – This is the warm-up that most people use for normal exercise. It includes exercises that stimulate the cardiovascular system and lungs and prepare the muscles for activity.
  • Specific – If you are partaking in a skilled activity like tennis, basketball or weight lifting, it’s important to prepare the specific muscles you will be using in that activity. Even if you are doing a specific activity like this, it’s important to do a general warm-up as well.

Warming up should be the first thing you do before going to a gym class, running or playing a team game.

Warm Up Exercises

The NHS recommends that your general warm-up should take at least 6 minutes. Most fitness instructors will probably guide 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how vigorous or what type of exercise you will be doing.

Here are some simple exercises you can do as a general warm-up:

  • March – first on the spot and then forwards and backwards. Pump your arms up and down in sync with your feet, keep your elbows bent and soften your fists. Keep going for at least 3 minutes.
  • Heel digs – Put your leg forward with the heel to the ground and your foot pointing up. Punch out your heel and keep a slight bend in the supporting leg. Aim to do 60 in 60 seconds on each side.
  • Knee lifts – Stand up straight and engage your core muscles. Bring alternate knees up to touch the opposite hand. Keep a slight bend in the supporting leg. Aim for 30 knee lifts in 30 seconds.
  • Shoulder rolls – While marching on the spot, with your hands hanging loose at your sides, roll your shoulders forwards 5 times and 5 times backwards.
  • Knee bends – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and your arms stretched out in front of you. Lower yourself about 10cm by bending your knees. Come back to standing and repeat at least 10 times.
  • Hip circles – Stand with your feet together. Raise one knee to 90 degrees. Circle your hip out by making a big circular motion with your knee; make it as wide as you can. Keep the supporting leg slightly bent. Circle slowly for 8 reps, then switch direction for 8 more. Repeat on the other side.
  • Arm circles – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms by your sides. Swing your arms forwards in a circular motion 8 times, then circle back for another 8.
  • Skip – If you have a skipping rope, jumping rope is one of the quickest ways to raise your heart rate. Jumping for 2 minutes at a moderate speed is a good warm-up for your arms and shoulders too.

If you have any doubts about injuries or other health conditions you may have, it’s always best to consult your Doctor before embarking on an exercise regime.

Key Takeaways

  • Doing exercise and cutting calories can help maintain your weight loss and keep it off in the long term.
  • Exercise not only burns calories but keeps you motivated and improves your general health and well-being.
  • Before doing any exercise, it’s really important to warm up first.
  • Warming up prevents injury, prepares your body for exercise and makes your workouts more effective.
  • The NHS recommends that your general warm-up should take at least 6 minutes. Most fitness instructors will probably recommend 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how vigorous or what type of exercise you will be doing.
  • General warm-up exercises are simple to do.

Introducing Mediweight a body transformation programme that delivers fast, effective, medically supervised weight loss. Call our specialist Mediweight advisers to find out more about the programme and book your doctor consultation.

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