Brrr its getting chilly!
These brisk Sydney Winter mornings shouldn’t deter you from getting up early and fitting exercise into your day. Before setting off to exercise, you should routinely complete a 5-10 minute warm up relevant to the activity ahead.
Warming up prior to exercising is important for lots of reasons.
A few physiological changes that occur in the body include:
• Body temperature rises – This means oxygen becomes more readily available for the working muscles to utilise, improving performance.
• Muscle temperature increases – Promoting the muscles ability to contract and relax faster, reducing the risk of muscle injury and enhancing speed and strength available to you.
• Flexibility – Joint mobility increases especially in larger joints e.g. shoulders and knees gain full range of motion prior to recruitment in exercise and activity.
• Psychological preparation– warming up is a great opportunity to ‘get in the zone’, clear the mind and focus on your time to exercise.
It is important to make your warm-up relevant to the activities you are about to do. For example, swimming requires more shoulder work than running so this should be considered and included in your warm-up.
Static stretching warm-ups are a thing of the past. Recent studies show that the improvements in flexibility are short lived and static stretching of the soft tissues does not prepare the body system adequately for the demands of the activity ahead. It is more helpful to increase flexibility of the joints and tissues by dynamically moving which in turn increases the elasticity of the tissues, promoting better work when required during activity.
Starting with some large muscle group movements is recommended. Here are some examples of warm-up exercises to do prior to participating in aerobic exercise such as jogging or a HITT class. Doing each exercise for 20-30 seconds for a total of 5-10 minutes.
• High knees + bum kicks
• Star jumps
• Squat jumps
• Shoulder taps
• Mountain climbers
• Bicycle crunches
• Calf raises
• Leg swings (forward and backward + side to side)
There is no one size fits all recipe for a perfect warmup. If you are recovering from injury, have had past history of injury or stiffness, then your warm-up should be tailored to include exercises specific to you.
Have a chat with your Physio to establish a warmup routine – to psychologically prepare for the activity ahead, get the muscles and joints warm, reduce your risk of injury and keep you moving and active! Our Physio’s here is Sydney’s Martin Place would love to help you.