You’ve finally gotten off the couch.
Your laces are tied, fitness tracker is strapped, and motivation is high.
You’re ready to clock in some moderate to vigorous activity!
But wait. Hold on just a bit. What about your warm-ups?
Before you roll your eyes and think warming up is for the overly enthusiastic and that you’re only going for a casual jog, spare two minutes to read on and find out why warming up before any workout is essential.
What is considered “warming up”?
Well, it’s definitely not the random wiggling of hips and twirling of ankles we did half-heartedly in P.E. classes.
The whole objective of warming up is to raise your body temperature and prepare all systems (cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous and musculoskeletal) for strenuous activity. It’s a low-level activity that takes place before stretching and vigorous exercise.
Why is it so important?
A good warm-up gets the blood pumping to your muscles and other parts of your body. This, in turn, reduces the risk of tendon and muscle injury. Pulling a muscle can derail the best-laid fitness plans, so why would you want to risk that when warming up can take as little as five minutes?
Know how you feel stiff when you try to get out of bed in the morning? Part of the reason is that your body cooled during the night. Warming up also increases your flexibility and lubricates the joints.
But that’s not all. Warming up doesn’t just get your body ready. It gets you mentally prepared for what you’re going to do next. Your warm-up routine helps you focus and calms your nerves so you can bring your best to your workout or game.
What’s a good warm-up routine?
This depends on your current fitness level. An athlete might begin with a 5k run while a beginner might do a brisk walk. The main thing is to start with the activity and movement patterns of your chosen exercise, but at a slower, less intense pace.
If you’re wearing a heart rate tracker like the Spur+, target to be at 50-60% of your maximum heart rate. Your warm-up activity should feel easy, and you should be able to converse somewhat normally while sweating mildly without feeling fatigue.
Warm-ups need to last for at least 5-10 minutes before you ramp up your intensity and begin your actual workout. If you prefer to do your stretches before exercising, this is when you can do them as your muscles are nicely warmed.
I’m new to exercise. What should I do?
If you’ve never joined a fitness programme and have no idea where to start, joining the National Steps Challenge™ 4 is an excellent way to begin. All you need to do is download the Healthy 365 mobile app from the App Store or Google Play, join the challenge and book an appointment at https://stepschallenge-appointment.sg (at least 24 hours in advance) to collect your FREE heart-rate monitoring fitness tracker. Start clocking your steps and moderate to vigorous physical activities (MVPA) to earn Healthpoints daily.
Head over to their website at stepschallenge.sg to learn more about National Steps Challenge™ Season 4! You’ll stay motivated to move as these Healthpoints can then be redeemed for rewards and chances to win prizes!
If you already have your own Actxa Spur or Spur+, you can immediately join and begin the “Steps Category” of the challenge as both devices can track your step count and sync it to the Healthy 365 mobile app. Just remember to do your warm-ups first!