Warming Up in the Cold

February 18, 2011

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Photo: Courtesy of Ambro

It’s common for physically active individuals to hop off the treadmill right after a run or jump on a bike as soon as they get to the gym, especially these days when finding a machine at the UNH gym is like finding gold. However, in doing so, an essential part of your work out is lost. Many times, people tend to forget how important a warm-up (and cool-down) is for an effective and safe workout.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 5-10 minutes of both a warm-up pre-workout, and some form of a cool-down post-workout. This warm-up is especially important in this cold winter weather. Exercising outside in the cold air can make your body take a long time to adjust to the temperature. In order to prevent injury, it is important to warm up the muscles before beginning your core workout. Exercising inside is similar where you’re coming from outside - your muscles are likely to be tight. In order to prevent injury, warm up your muscles, and prepare your body, you should include a light to moderate activity prior to exercising. The optimal warm up includes two components: 1) a form of cardiovascular activity such as walking or jogging, and 2) a form of stretching. Stretching before a workout to improve performance is a controversial topic, but light stretches are beneficial to reducing the risk of injury. In general, a light form of cardio and stretching is a good way to warm up your body before getting into your core workout. So next time you start your exercises, don’t forget to warm your body up first!

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It's really tough to even want to get moving sometimes when we feel cold.  (I know I don't even like to get out of bed when it's cold!)     However, warming up and getting the blood flowing before strenuous exercise is really important!    Thanks for the post! 

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