Taking a few minutes to warm up your muscles before your workout helps protect from injury
While you may be excited to get right into your workout or you are in a time crunch, it is important not to neglect your warmup. Simply put, a warmup helps your body prepare for physical activity.
Health professionals explain that a proper warm up increases our blood and muscle temperatures respectively and helps dilate blood vessels to better supply our muscles with oxygen. Our muscles become more flexible and efficient as a result, reducing risk of injury.
Your warmup should ideally last between 5-10 minutes. The more intense the workout, the longer you should warm up. Here are some tips to help guide you through:
Cater your warmup to your workout
Engage the same muscles that will be put to use during the main workout when you warm up and when you cool down. For example, if you are going on a brisk walk, you should walk slowly for a few minutes prior to launching your actual workout regime. If you plan on running, you would need to ease into jogging ahead of running.
Dynamic stretches versus static stretches
Save the static stretches for after your workout. Dynamic stretches are active movements where your muscles go through full range of motion to help get your muscles and joints get loosened up. Stretching dynamically helps prepare your body for the workout to come, and can mimic the movements of the activity you are about to perform. Seated stretches to elongate your muscles can result in injury if your body is not warmed up properly.
Check out some warm up routines designed for you by our Official Baytak Nadeek trainers. Try out different variations to find out what works for you!
Official Baytak Nadeek trainer Ahmad Al Mosabi shares this warmup that includes running in place, jumping squats, arm circles, and few kickboxing moves.
Official Baytak Nadeek trainer Najia Alfadl also shares a warmup that includes inchworms, the greatest stretch and and Russian makers.
Just as important as the warm up is your cool down. Like warmups, cool downs generally entail mimicking your workout at a slower pace and lower intensity. Try to end with some stretches to keep your muscles loose. Visit more tips about muscle recovery and soreness by checking out our guide here.
Healthy Living is a frequently updated content section brought to you by the Saudi Sports for All Federation. In the spirit of supporting our #HealthyActiveCommunity, we’re sharing tips around wellness, physical activity and more!