I do realize a lot of my readers are on their own journeys and don’t know where to begin. Healthy eating and exercise is something new to you and you don’t know where to begin. That is why I’m talking to you about the exercise warm up. I see people go straight hard core into their workouts without any batting an eye on the warm up.
The exercise warm-up and cool down are crucial parts of the workout and sadly parts that people don’t really focus on. Today, I’m only talking about the warm up but don’t worry, I’ll talk to you about the cool down later.
With the warm up, you are prepping your body for the amazing workout you’re about to do. The warm up doesn’t have to be related to the exercise you’re about to perform. For example, you might walk on the treadmill before doing your strength or resistance training. It’s just a way to get your muscles warmed up and ready for the upcoming exercise minutes.
I didn’t always warm up before I started running and it made that first mile very difficult. Believe me, a warm up before any workout is NECESSARY! Here are some facts about the warm up:
- Increases the heart rate and respiratory rate.
- Increases tissue temperature
- Increase mental readiness for exercise.
Basically a warm up is setting you up not to shock your body so much from a low heart to a sudden elevated heart rate, warms up the muscles and shaking off the dust and lastly, it gets your mind ready to sweat! Mental readiness is a huge part of a successful workout so don’t skip your warm up for that reason.
The warm up should last between 5-10 minutes and should be light to moderate in intensity. There are many options for warm ups including: foam rolling, walking on the treadmill, riding a stationary bicycle, elliptical, rowing, body weight squats, hip swings, etc. This can go on and on. Again, this should be a light activity that gently raises the heart rate and you should NOT reach fatigue during this period.
It’s time to focus a little bit on the fitness aspect of a healthy lifestyle because I feel like this is the most overlooked part of a weight loss journey. Attention is always paid to what to eat and when to eat but there is very little question about the working out and getting active part of changing your life. Whenever someone asks me how I lost the weight, I say the same thing: “I stopped eating crap and started getting active.” Activity is a key part of getting in your caloric deficit for weight loss.
You’re not going to be able to maintain your weight loss without getting in exercise. That’s the bottom line. Wrap your mind around it, you’re going to need to exercise to lose weight. It’s not just about food.
Be honest, do you warm up?