When you think cardio, you think of this intense workout when you sweat a lot and your heart rate is super-fast. That whole “No Pain, No Gain” workout. You then go straight into the heavy-duty cardio and start to overheat and get overworked and tired too quickly. Without a warm-up, your body isn’t adjusting to the increase movement, heart-rate and sweating properly. A warm-up is your body’s way of preparing itself to sweat and burn calories. By gradually raising your heart-rate and gradually raising your speed, your body has time to adjust and work harder.
But is a warm-up really that important? Well, yes, it is. By properly warming-up before an intense workout your muscles are able to warm up which is needed for proper fluid actions. Stiff muscles aren’t as flexible so your body need to stretch out to avoid injury. Warm-ups also benefit your heart, instead of jumping into an intense workout causing your heart to race, your heart is able to slowly start to beat faster and pump blood faster. It’s not always good to have your heart race too fast too quickly. Warm-ups are also great to get you mentally in the workout mindset. It’s an easy way to boost your mood and make you feel pumped up!
A few good workouts include the Head and Shoulder Roll, the Arm Circles, the Upper Body Twist, the Knee Lift and simply Walking. Here’s how to simply do these warm-ups.
1. Head and Shoulder Rolls.
This is easy, put your hands on your hips, legs spread slightly apart. Back straight and roll your shoulders up towards your ears then backwards and do this in a circular motion one shoulder at a time which releases tension in the shoulder muscles. Then for the head roll you stand the same way and just roll your head in a circular motion, stretching the neck muscles.
Repeat 15 times.
2. Arm Circles.
In the same position raise your arms outwards and rotate them in full circle like they were propellers. Keep arms straight. Rotating from small to large circles. This stretches and loosens the arms up.
Repeat 10 on each arm clockwise then counter clockwise.
3. Upper Body Twist.
Still standing in the same position, back straight and legs apart. Hold out arms and bend like your about to box. Then with arms outwards twist your torso and hips from the left to the right. With each twist hold it for a few seconds.
Repeat 16 times.
4. Knee Lift.
Again, in this standing position, lift one foot up till your knee is up by your waist. Pause and hold the knee for a few seconds then lower. Repeat with the other knee.
Repeat 10 per leg.
5. Walking/ Marching in Place.
We all know how to walk, this is simple. If you are inside and can’t do much distance walking then march in place. Swinging your arms gently while walking. Every few minutes speeding up.
Repeat for about 15-20 minutes.