Warming Up Your Warm-Up

A guide to finding the perfect pre-workout routine as you lose weight in Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Greenbrae or Novato

Even if you’ve been throwing yourself wholeheartedly into a fun new activity like kickboxing or Zumba, you need to remember that what comes before that activity is just as important. You may be excited to dive headfirst into your workout, but doing so without a proper warm-up may make your efforts less effective, less enjoyable and ultimately less beneficial as you lose weight.

 

Why Warm Up?

Regardless of your workout, a warm-up is what gets you ready for the challenges ahead. Here are three ways that a proper warm-up will prepare your body for exercise:

 

Now that you know how beneficial a little prep time can be, you may be wondering just what constitutes a good warm-up. Though you should always warm-up in some way before exercise, there are many different ways to do so—here are a few simple tips that will help you warm-up without overdoing it.

  1. Keep a 10-minute minimum and a 20-minute maximum. It takes at least 10 continuous minutes of activity to bring your muscles to the ideal workout temperature, but spending more than 20 minutes on your workout may wear you out before the main event.
  2. Stretch when you feel tight. Some experts have begun to eschew the static stretches recommended in the past, instead suggesting dynamic activities that allow your muscles to stretch naturally, like jumping jacks. Though the decision of whether or not to stretch before your warm-up is up to you, taking a short break from your warm-up activity to stretch will help your muscles get loose and flexible.
  3. Get your heart racing. You don’t want to go crazy during your warm-up, but you should try to do something vigorous that will get your blood pumping. Shoot for an activity related to your workout that has a lower intensity level. For example, if you plan on going running, try warming up with a brisk jog—this will engage the muscles you’re about to use without exhausting them.

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