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