Healthy Living

Why You Need To Warm Up Before An Intense Workout

Warming up before an intense workout may feel like a hassle but a recent study claimed that it is necessary to regulate your body temperature. It also enhances your performance and improves your overall health. It is an activity that prepares the body for the chemical reactions that will occur while you exercise.

According to a NASM-certified personal trainer Lauren Kanski, warming up and cooling down before and after an intense workout allow the body to leave its desired internal temperature. Cool-downs also allow the body to revert to the desired temperature after the exercise, as per mindbodygreen.

Body Changes During Exercise

Regulating your body’s temperature to its desired 98.6 Fahrenheit or the state of optimal homeostasis is very important. This condition keeps the body alive and maximizes its functions. Once we exercise, our body experiences stress and the chemical reactions that take place affect the blood pH levels and expel toxins through sweat and lymphatic drainage. These drastic changes may cause overfatigue or cramps. But warming up before an intense workout helps the body adapt to these changes.

Kanski said warmups and slow-downs must be in a gradual rhythm. When the body engages in physical activity, the neurological feedback systems from our joints, bones, muscles and cardiovascular system are activated. Preparing the body to these activities will allow it to continually function to the desired equilibrium. The brain then reacts faster to every stimulus, the heart pumps blood faster to our muscles and our bodies sweat. Sweating is the body’s reaction to the increase in temperature as chemical processes occur during the exercise.

Risks Associated With Not Warming Up or Cooling Down

Kanski noted that when you do not engage in these two activities before and after an intense workout, your body’s systems may go into shock. The reactions associated with this shock are heart attacks, muscle cramps and fainting, among other things. In other words, your body loses its ability to move accordingly to the pace of your intense workout.

Recommended Program

Starting your warm up with breathing exercises for two minutes is the first step to prepare your body for an intense workout. Next is stretching every joint in the body from the ground up including neck rolls. Afterward, dynamic stretching keeps the body in motion. This includes hip bridges, walking lunges, side lunges, bear crawls and shoulder rotations. Life Hack recommends starting with walking, followed by stretching then doing jumping jacks for five minutes.