Why warming up is important

When I was a child I used to play handball (a game that doesn’t really exist in the UK) and we used to spend 15 minutes warming up before starting any practice or any match. And. I. Hated. It. Warming up was sooo boring. Running back and forth on the court for no particular reason, jumping up and down before doing annoying sit-ups, stretching and then we were back to the pointless running again… Attitude sounds familiar?

I was a child back then, but to be honest it wasn’t until I was about 20 that I actually understood why warming up is so important. Before that, no one had ever told me the reason for doing it but when someone finally did, warming up stopped being such a drag. Today, I instead see warm-ups as this amazing little space of time where I’m taking care of myself and getting myself mentally prepared for what my body is going to do.

So here it is: the little reason for warming up before exercising, that did the trick for me and made me appreciate warming up big time – hopefully, it will do the same for you.

We need to warm up our bodies before exercising to prepare the body for the pressure we are going to expose it to. This helps to eliminate injuries as the body can better cope with pressure and stress once in the right state for it.

Think of your body as if it was a branch. If it’s a dry branch in the wintertime it will break over in the middle when pressured on the end. SNAP. Just like that. If we, on the other hand, think of a fresh springtime/summer branch (you know the slightly green ones) that is way harder to break and won’t exactly say snap. On the contrary, you really need to put in a lot of muscle and be very persistent to break one of those. That is the state we want our body to be in when we are using it for exercising: Strong ready and fresh. Thinking about that visual image somehow empowers me – maybe it will do the same for you. Sort of like a strong tree in the blowing wind, nothing can break me! That’s the physical part of it.

The other part of it for me is the mental preparation. We run around all day – especially us women – trying to balance loads of roles where we need to be amazing. The career needs to be great, we need to look amazing, be the perfect parent, a health expert, a great partner and the list goes on. Exercising is me-time. Time spent on just me and my body and a place where I don’t have to relate to anyone else or their expectations to me. The 10-15 minute warm-up is a time that I spend getting into the mind-set of me. I create a distance between anything else I’ve done that day and anything else that lies after. Instead, I set my mind to put complete focus on my body and what it is that I’m going to do for just me in a short period of time where I will be exercising.

I really hope this helps you to understand why warming up is necessary as well as its benefits.

Xx Mai – InstructorLive partnerships and marketing
+ Life coach and PT in the making. If you want to know more about me then check out my blog: www.nordicearthchild.com