When you have to fit an exercise routine into your already busy schedule, you might be tempted to simply skip the warm up routine, even though you’ve heard horror stories about people getting injured while working out. Three words: don’t do that. When you skip your warm up, you are not only putting your body as risk for personal injury, but you are also making the workout more difficult and less effective. For the best results, it is important to warm up every time you work out.
Warming up doesn’t have to eat up the time you allotted for exercise into your day. In fact, a decent workout only has to be 5 minutes long to do its job. It doesn’t have to be boring either—you can mix up a number of great moves to make your warm up as fun as the rest of your exercising. Remember that a good warm up gets all of your muscles moving, even if you don’t think that you’ll be intensely working out a set of muscles on any particular day. Warming up is also important regardless of if you’re doing cardiovascular exercises or lifting weights.
The moves you do for a warm up shouldn’t necessarily be difficult or make you break a sweat. The main goal of the warm up isn’t to become a part of your workout, but simply to slowly move muscles that you haven’t really thought about all day to wake them up. Good moves, therefore, include things like jogging in place, doing jumping jacks, lunging, and jumping rope.
A good warm-up can also including slowly stretching your muscles in a variety of ways, although this is usually more effective for a cool-down. Also consider exercises that work on balance and form in order to prepare you for the exercises you will be doing in the workout.
If you’re really short on time, why not try warming up before you even get to the gym. Slowly jog or power walk to the gym, park as far away as possible and lunge to the door, and take the stairs instead of the elevator. That way, when you get to the gym to workout your warm up routine is already half way done.
A good workout always builds in intensity. This is the best way to shed pounds and maintain a healthy weight. Weight loss workouts are only risky if you don’t warm up, because otherwise your body will respond to prevent injuries. Although you may be tempted to skip this step, that is never a good idea.