What is the purpose of warming up prior to physical activity?   

What is the purpose of warming up prior to physical activity?

Is it necessary? What is the proper way doing it?
Warming up before any physical activity is very important because it helps prepare the muscles and tendons for more strenuous activity.

Warming up:
1. Prepares the body and mind by increasing the body's core and muscle temperature. This helps make muscles loose, supple and pliable, thus preventing injuries.

2. Increases blood flow, which in turn increases the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to working muscles.

3. Leads to efficient calorie burning due to increase in body temperature.

4. Helps to produce more forceful muscle contractions, which are beneficial to resistance training.

5. Helps deliver oxygen to working muscles faster.

6. Allows better muscle control by speeding up neural message pathways to the muscles.

7. Reduces the build-up of lactic acid in the blood, thus allowing a longer, more comfortable workout.

8. Improves flexibility.

9. Prepares the mind for higher intensity workout by increasing arousal and focus on exercise.

Perform five to 10 minutes of gentle exercise, preferably those that involve major muscle groups or the muscles that will be used for the activity. Do it hard enough that you sweat but do not get tired. Brisk walking and cycling are examples.

Then do static stretching exercises. Stretching muscles after light activity will get you a better stretch because the rise in muscle temperature and circulation increases muscle elasticity, making muscles more pliable.
Choose flexibility exercises that stretch the muscles you will use for your activity. Position your body so that the muscle or group of muscles is stretched under tension. Then slowly move the body a little to increase the tension. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds to allow muscles and tendons to lengthen.

Take the extra effort to warm up. You will perform better and make a workout more enjoyable.

Happy reading,

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