A warm up prepares your body for physical activity. While cutting it out may seem like a good way to save time, those few minutes should not be skipped. Below are five reasons why:

Why It's Important to Warm Up

1. Helps You Avoid Injury

When your joints are cold, they are brittle and stiff. In contrast, when your joints are warm, they absorb shock, are more pliable, and can make movement more fluid.

In one scientific review of five studies, researchers found that warming up significantly reduces an individual’s risk of injury – specifically stretching, balance exercises, and sport-specific agility drills.

So, if you don’t want to face back pain or any other injury, you definitely want to include a proper warm up in your routine.

2. Keeps Your Joints Young

When you move your joints, the synovial fluid within those joints moves around, lubricating the cartilage and providing vital oxygen and nutrients. A warm up ensures your joints are properly lubricated before you dive into any strenuous exercise. In turn, this keeps your joints young and functional, well into those later years.

3. Reduces Soreness Post-Exercise

No one wants to feel sore after a workout. One strategy to prevent post-workout soreness is performing a proper warm up. When you warm up, you’re less likely to get microfibril tears in your joints, meaning fewer discomforts.

In fact, research shows how warming up actually reduces delayed onset muscle soreness, specifically when compared to performing a proper cooldown.

4. Limits Muscle Cramping

We’ve all seen it: A runner going at full speed, but suddenly their muscle cramps up. This happens, even to the pros. But warming up significantly decreases the likelihood of  muscle cramping during or after exercise. In turn, you also are less likely to experience injury, as previously mentioned.

5. Improves Recovery Rate & Performance

A warm up should be seen as the first step towards peak performance. Starting ‘cold’ (without a warm up) limits your ability  to achieve your full potential. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a dynamic warm-up to get the most out of every exercise and training session. One study even showed how warming up improved 79% of the performance criterias examined. Thus, we think there’s definitely something to it.

Want to know how to warm up better? You can always ask us. At Nielsen Fitness, our virtual personal trainers and personal trainers in Toronto can show you how to perform a proper warm up and get to your goals by using the time, space, and equipment you have available. Get in touch with us today!

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Ask a Nielsen Fitness personal trainer how you can warm up better.