Performing a warm-up before a workout or activity increases blood flow and oxygenation to muscles. While the passive body produces only 15-20% of blood flow to skeletal muscles, this increases to 70-75% after 10 minutes of total body activity. Higher blood flow means more oxygen delivered to the muscles, which in turn leads to better performance. The temperature of your body also increases, which increases flexibility and range of motion in your muscles.
While warm-up exercises may not seem important, they can reduce the risk of injury in some cases. Stretching muscles prior to an intense workout increases their flexibility and helps decrease internal resistance. It also increases deformation before an injury occurs. During a warm-up, you can incorporate light strengthening activities. For strength training, consider doing low repetitions with low weights. Adding a few light stretches to your routine before an intense workout is beneficial as well.
A warm-up and cool-down are critical for preventing injuries during exercise. While many people understand the need to warm up and cool down, few actually perform them. Incorrect warm-ups can cause light-headedness or even a heart attack. Proper warm-ups and cool-downs can reduce your risk of injury and improve your athletic performance. Here are the benefits of warming up and cooling down:
Warming up your body before a workout is a key part of injury prevention and a good exercise routine. Warming up your body prior to working out improves flexibility and blood flow to the area, limiting the risk of joint pain and muscle pull. Warming up your body also prepares muscles to stretch during other exercises. Because resistance training puts tension on your muscles, warming up your muscles beforehand will allow you to stretch your muscles more comfortably and increase range of motion.
When working out, cold weather can cause muscle contraction and loss of range of motion. Cold weather also causes joints to tighten, and can pinch nerves. Working out forces muscles to work harder than usual, which increases the risk of muscle soreness. Fortunately, many people know that alternating heat and cold therapy can reduce muscle soreness. But if you're concerned about cold-related injuries, it's best to consult a doctor before trying any of these methods.
Although short-term stress is unlikely to affect your heart, chronic stress can have devastating consequences. High blood pressure is one of the most common risk factors for heart disease and is directly related to chronic stress. The body is constantly in "fight or flight" mode, which is intended to protect us but can have detrimental effects over time. Stress can also increase your risk of developing heart disease by impairing the flow of blood to your heart and brain.
The good news is that you can learn to reduce stress without having to change your lifestyle. Having a healthy diet, regular exercise, and doing something enjoyable can help you avoid the negative effects of long-term stress. Eating a healthy diet and snacking on fruits and vegetables are both great ways to minimize stress and feel better. Regular exercise is also good for your heart, so get moving today! Try meditation to reduce stress and reduce your risk factors. Practicing positive thinking can have a profound impact on your stress levels and your heart health.