A pre-exercise or a pre-run warm-up activity can be beneficial to runners which can range from simple stretching to engaging in more dynamic movements. The warmup activity can signal our mind and body to be prepared for the oncoming exercise or a game.
“Warm-up was shown to improve performance in 79% of athletes in a group analyzed. This analysis has shown that performance improvements can be demonstrated after completion of adequate warm-up activities, and there is little evidence to suggest that warming-up is detrimental to sports participants” Fradkin AJ, Zazryn TR, Smoliga JM. Effects of warming-up on physical performance: a systematic review with meta-analysis. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24(1):140–148. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181c643a0
- Prepare your body: Warm Up prepares your body for aerobic and physical activity. When you warmup you are actually increasing the aerobic activity (increased blood flow to your muscles) and the body core temperature increases. Due to an increase in the activity, the joints receive better lubrication.
- Reduce the chance of injuries: Warming up beliefs to reduce the chance of injuries and also prepares your body physically and psychologically for performance.
- It’s not about simple static stretching: A warm-up activity is usually combined with dynamic stretching also called an ABC warmup.
- Warmup duration and intensity: The amount of time (and when you do it) to warm-up depends on the type of exercise or activity, duration, intensity and weather conditions. When you are going to exercises in the hot sun, always step out and spend 10-20 min doing lighter activities allowing your body to physically adapt the weather conditions. The warmup duration and intensity is much higher if you are participating in shorter distance races. Make sure you are also adequately hydrated (or prepared well) to suit the weather/intensity/duration/type of physical activity.
- Warm-up to activate the right muscles: Generally, a warm-up is done 40-45 minutes before a marathon for a duration of 10-15 minutes by running 1-2 kilometers at a 70-80% effort, and by gradually increasing the effort to 90% for the last 2-3 minutes before stopping.
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