Is proper warm-up and stretching important before exercising?
A proper warm-up has lots of benefits, but first and foremost it’s essential in helping to prevent injuries. Your warm-up needs to make you sweat a little, but if you are fatigued afterwards, you are working too hard and need to dial it back a little. You don’t want to be fatigued after the warm-up. Your warm-up should be no more than 10 minutes. If you go any longer you risk burning the energy you’ll need for your more intense workout.
Warming up is also beneficial in that it increases coordination, increases heart rate and blood circulation and it increases oxygen reserves to the muscles, to name a few.
After warming it is also essential to do some light stretching.
Stretching before exercise helps you limber up and helps you get full range of motion during the workout. It is also a good idea to stretch after your workout. Doing so stretched out the muscles you have worked and helps them grow.
If you are performing relatively intense workouts 4-5 times per week, it is also a good idea to spend an hour per week (usually on one of your off days) stretching. You should try to do a full-body stretch. Doing so will increase your flexibility and reduce any chance of injury, but it will also improve your workouts, in both strength and size.
If your one of those intense types that can’t see yourself just stretching, then reserve one day a week for yoga. Yoga will not only give you that all-over-body stretch, but it will also give you one heck of a great workout.
To review, it’s essential to warm-up and stretch before you workout and then stretch again afterwards. Do so will increase your flexibility, reduce chance of injury and greatly maximize your results.