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Thursday, May 10, 2012

You’re Getting Warmer, Warmer, Warmer…You’re Hot!

If you want to your workouts to make you look hot, then warming up before you exercise can help you. In the hustle and bustle of today’s daily grind many of you might not think you have time to warm up before your exercise routine. It’s tempting to take some shortcuts in order to save a little time when confronted with a busy schedule. But leaving out your warm up could actually cost you more time; since this can make you more susceptible to injuries, and an injury could keep you out of the gym for days, weeks or even months!
You can warm up by using one of your favorite pieces of cardio equipment; choose an easy-to-moderate pace—based on your personal fitness level—and continue for five to ten minutes. You should have a little bit of perspiration bead up as you break a light sweat from the exercise during your warm up.
There are fun and creative ways to warm up as well.  If you want to create some variety with your warm ups, head to the basketball court and shoot around for a bit with friends. Be efficient and eco-friendly by walking or biking to the gym; this way you are ready for your workout as soon as you walk in the door, and your trip back home serves as a great way for you to cool down too.
So how can warming up benefit you?
Warming up prepares your body for more vigorous activities by steadily increasing your heart rate and breathing. As you warm up, the temperature of your muscles increases making them more pliable[i] which reduces your risk of injury. To better understand this, think of something that is cold. For example, imagine a stick of gum that is placed in the freezer; that stick of gum will harden and it will easily snap if you try to bend it. If you left that same stick of gum out in the sun on an 80 degree day it would gradually become softer and you could likely bend it all the way in half without it snapping. The same concept is true for your muscles as they get warmer and become more pliable.
Another great benefit of warming up is that it allows you time to mentally focus and prepare to engage in physically intense activities. A well-focused mind and body mean that you can work out harder, efficiently and safely. So take the time to warm up before every work out and don’t forget to find fun ways to do so you can continue to Live Healthy.
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