Conditioning: The Importance of Warming Up

Warm up is essential to a good conditioning program and a good warm up is necessary even before starting a stretching program. The warm up should include exercises to increase circulation and heart rate. A warm up prepares you physically and mentally and adjust’s your body from rest to activity.

  • Benefits of warming up are:
    • Increase in body temperature
    • Increase in muscle blood flow
    • Increase in HR which prepares the Cardiovascular system
    • Increases the body’s energy release and exchange of oxygen
    • Increases the speed of which nerve impulses travel
    • Decreases muscle tension and connective tissue.
    • Prepares you mentally for exercise.

Every session should begin with a warm up an easy way to improve warm up compliance and remove the stress of deciding what to do is to routinely do the same warm up at the start of the session. This conditions the brain into knowing the start of the session is about to begin and the fact that you have done the warm up before means your mind can focus on the session you are about to do.

Idea’s for warming up:

  • A short 10-15 min set of the sport you are doing e.g swimming or cycling incorporating a steady aerobic set, a few short medium paced efforts and some short sharp sprints.
  • 10 mins skipping continuously with a change of pace as the body warms up
  • 10mins steady rowing or cycling with some higher cadence efforts of 10-15 seconds.
  • 10mins of Light running and bounding with some knee lifts and foot to bums and over strides.
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