During warm-up, blood flow increases to the muscles and decreases to the digestive organs. Hard or constant exercise increases blood flow and transfers warmth to the skin. This transition occurs with muscle activity and is necessary so that the exercise can continue for an extended period. Psychological factors can also influence circulation, and this transition can begin before muscle activity. Fear and the adrenalin shock that follows, or mental exercises such as biofeedback,
yoga, meditation and autogenic training can also influence the circulation. Circulation and breathing stabilises after about 3 6 minutes of muscle activity. When you move, the volume of fluid and thickness of cartilage in the joints increases, which improves the joint s ability to absorb shock and prevents direct wear on the bones. Movement in the joint increases blood flow and raises the temperature, increasing elasticity in the joint s supporting tissue. This transition happens within 10 minutes of starting the movement and is almost completely gone 30 minutes after you complete the movement.
So, if you have a 30-minute break, you must warm up again! An increase in the muscle s temperature, which can be as low as 30 C when resting, improves the muscle s performance ability. To do hard exercise, muscle metabolism must begin, and it needs an increase in oxygen flow through the blood. Nerve impulses travel faster in warm muscle, and muscle viscosity is lower, making contraction easier and more efficient. The best temperature for the speed of chemical reactions and metabolism in muscle functioning is about 38. 8 C to 39. 4 C. The only efficient way for the muscle to reach this temperature is by exercising it. Relaxation can improve the interplay between the contracting muscles (the agonists) and the muscles being released to allow movement (the antagonists) and increase the exercise effectiveness. Lack of concentration because of tiredness or stress increases the risk of injuries. Both concentration and relaxation are techniques you can learn. A warm-up should be done before each workout session: cardio, strength training, and even stretching-based classes like yoga.
It doesn t have to take a lot of time since 5-10 minutes is typically all you need to get your body ready for working out. Plan to spend more time warming up for very intense workouts, whereas you can spend less time warming up for low- to moderate-intensity workouts. 1. Increase blood flow to your working muscles, better preparing them for the additional workload to come. 2. Increase the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles, which prevents you from getting out of breath too early or too easily. 3. Prepare your heart gradually for an increase in activity, helping you avoid a rapid increase in blood pressure. 4. Prime your nerve-to-muscle pathways to be ready for exercise, which can improve the quality of your workout. 5. Improve coordination and reaction times. 6. Reduce the chance of soft tissue (ligament, tendon, and muscle) injuries by allowing your muscles and joints to move through a greater range of motion easilyand safely. 7. Lubricate your joints for easier (and less painful) movement. 8.
Increase blood temperature, which can allow you to work out longer or harder. 9. Prompt hormonal changes in the body responsible for regulating energy production. 10. Help mentally prepare you for the workout ahead, giving you a few minutes to get pumped up for a great workout! Not sure how to warm up? A warm up can be a lower intensity version of the activity you are about to do, or it can be. A proper warm up gradually raises your heart rate and gets your muscles primed for activity. Get Started! Tell us about your goals! Written by Grace Selwitschka, Certified Personal Trainer at This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. P All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program. Got something to add? Leave a comment!