Whether you are training to run a marathon, planning to play your favourite sport, or doing some gardening, warming-up should be the first thing on your to-do list.
Doing a few simple movements prepares your body and mind for what you are going to do and, most importantly, reduces the risk of injury by increasing the heart rate and creating warm pliable muscles that are pumped full of oxygen and fuel.
The most effective way to warm-up depends on the activity you are doing. Fitness levels and activity goals will influence what is included in a warm-up, but there are a few basic techniques that can be used as a starting point for your warm-up routine:
- Loosen up… warm muscles by gently mimicking the movements you will be doing in your activity – marching on the spot, squatting, arm circles.
- Increase your heart rate… running on the spot, gentle jogging, low resistance cycling, low resistance rowing.
- Dynamic stretching… moving your body through a range of movement – shoulder circles, arm circles, hip circles, lunges.
These are just a few suggestions to get you going. Your warm-up should leave you energised and ready to go. Always listen to your body, do not continue with any movements that cause discomfort and remember to cool down after.
For a more activity-focused warm-up routine, advice on how you can improve and progress your current routine, or more info on warming-up get in touch with us here at Physio Extra, we are always happy to help.
By Nim Ragbir BSc (hons) MHCPC MCSP