10 Reasons to Warm Up

Tempted to skip your warm up? Don't! Your warm up is an important part of your exercise routine. According to ACSM's James Peterson, Ph.D., FACSM, here are 10 vital reasons for starting out with a warm up and not taking shortcuts!

  1. Increases degradation of oxyhemoglobin. In lay person's terms, warming up helps break down the chemical complex of oxygen, which enables it to separate from the blood and enhance its delivery to the muscle.
  2. Increases body temperature. Warming up reduces the potential for muscle and connective injuries.
  3. Increases blood flow to exercising muscles. The more blood that reaches the muscles, the easier the delivery of nutrients required for energy production.
  4. Increase blood flow to the heart. More blood to the heart means a reduced risk for exercise-induced cardiac abnormalities.
  5. Decreases muscle viscosity. Hey, if viscosity is bad for your car engine, it's not any better for your muscles. Warming up enhances the suppleness of the muscle.
  6. Help promote sweating. Remember: sweat is good. Sweating reduces the amount of heat stored in the body. Your body spends more energy cooling itself than through any other activity.
  7. Enhances the speed of transmission of nerve impulses. Motor faculties improve greatly when you're warmed up. Need proof? Get out of bed and run to the front door. You'll probably bump into something, or worse, fall down. If you walked to the front door, and stretched. You could run like Forest Gump.
  8. Increases the blood saturation of muscles and connective tissue. Sounds messy. In reality, the more blood reaching the muscles, tendons and ligaments, the better the elasticity of these tissues. Which means better performance and reduced chance of injuries.
  9. Prepares the cardiovascular system for impending workload. Helps the heart and blood vessels adjust to the body's increased demands for blood and oxygen.
  10. Prepares muscles for impending workload. Warming up may reduce the likelihood of excessive muscle soreness.

This information and other information on this site is intended for general reference purposes only and is not intended to address specific medical conditions. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice or a medical exam. Prior to participating in any exercise program or activity, you should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition.