Many people, especially the young, regard warming up as a dull process that gets in the way of the “real” exercise. They also complain that it takes up too much time.
In fact, warm-ups help enhance blood circulation and increase body temperature, thus relaxing muscles and lowering the risk of getting injuries during workouts.
For most people, a warm-up exercise is nothing more than a couple of jumping jacks, walking or slow jogging, and so on. But when done properly, these moves can improve the efficiency of the exercise by preventing sudden pressure on heart and blood vessels as well as increasing oxygen and hormone in the blood.
Different workouts require different warm-up exercises. For instance, if you want to go running, the proper warm-up is to jog slowly and then naturally rise to your desired running speed.
If you want to do aerobic dancing, it is best to do cardio exercises slowly to warm up your entire body. As for weight training, you should also do some cardio warm-ups first.
Not only do stretching and warm-ups before exercise prevent injuries, they can also be helpful against musculo-skeletal system diseases caused by sports.
People who exercise regularly may develop an imbalanced body due to improper workout routines or habits while those who don’t exercise may also suffer from imbalances because of their daily habits and activities such sitting for long hours in front of a computer with poor posture.
Many suffer from sports injuries and various body aches because they fail to exercise properly with the right posture.
That said, stretching regularly will effectively prevent body imbalances caused by daily repetitive activities, such as sitting down for a long period of time or doing housework.
Instead of thinking of stretching as a chore or something to be done only before a sport activity, it is best to make it a daily habit.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Oct. 11
Translation by John Chui
[Chinese version 中文版]
– Contact us at [email protected]