There seems to be a never-ending back and forth when it comes to a whole number of topics in the fitness and health industry. One minute something is good for you and the next minute it isn’t, and back again. One thing that has been long discussed in this circle is the importance of warming up before a workout or the lack thereof. At Junkyard Training, we are dedicated to making sure you have access to the most relevant information so that you can get the most out of your active lifestyle. That’s why in this article we want to settle whether warmups are important to your workout according to the latest information.
Think of your muscles like taffy. A cold piece of taffy is hard, brittle, and difficult to work with. But once you warm the taffy with your hands, it becomes soft and malleable. You can stretch the candy without it breaking. In a similar way, when you engage in strenuous activity with cold muscles, you are far more likely to sustain an injury and your movements may be restricted, resulting in a subpar workout.
In addition to preparing your muscles for activity, warming up also prepares your heart and lungs. This aids with endurance because it helps to increase blood temperature. Blood temperature helps with endurance because as your blood temperature increases, it weakens the bond between oxygen and hemoglobin, which allows working muscles to gain access to more oxygen. Which means that you can work harder for longer.
Warming up also increases overall blood flow, which will mean that less stress is being put onto your heart through the duration of your workout. When you warm up, you are also signaling to your brain that it needs to redistribute certain hormones, such as epinephrine and cortisol which help you with energy. It will also alert your body to the need to tap into your fatty acid and carbohydrate stores to gain energy.
On top of all that, warming up helps you mentally prepare yourself for activity. Surely you have noticed a difference when you are focused versus distracted during a workout. So, for your mind and body’s sake, take a few minutes to warm up beforehand to enjoy a great workout!