Avoid Early Overkill
-- By Joe Downie, Certified Physical Fitness Instructor
Beginning an exercise program can be very overwhelming and painful if you aren’t careful. Warming your body up and stretching prior to exercise is very important for your health and will allow you to see better results, as well as to enjoy the workout more. Warming up and stretching raise your body and muscle temperatures, along with preparing your cardiovascular, respiratory, and nervous systems for the demands of exercise by slowly increasing the blood circulation.
Warming up will allow all of your connective tissues that haven’t been stretched recently to handle the stress put on during exercise, limiting your chances for injury. Connective tissue is similar to hard plastic; if you don’t warm-up plastic it won’t be flexible, and is much more likely to "break."
Proper warm up and stretching also help reduce the severity of soreness in the next day or two following the workout. The increased blood flow helps deliver more oxygen to the muscles and gets rid of the waste products that contribute to soreness. Increased blood flow also helps bring more fuel to your body, resulting in better performance.
Warm up with a low impact exercise, such as biking, an elliptical machine, walking, or rowing. These exercises allow your body to warm up with limited stress to your joints.
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