Warming up effectively will help with injury prevention as well as overall performance. We asked Athlete Performance's Health and Wellbeing expert Barbara Cox to tell us more.
A 2006 study in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport concluded that correct warmup techniques could reduce the risk of injury (1). Research into warming up also indicates that you could benefit from an increase in cardio vascular health. It's also a great way to prepare mentally for training or competition.
Here’s some more reasons to look at your warm-up routine.
Reduced injury risk
Warming up can improve coordination which can help to reduce the risk of injury. Staying mobile is important for keeping any injuries (past and possibly future) at bay.
Warming up can help the brain prepare the muscles for a successful execution of movement.
When you warm up your body and muscles, you enhance the body’s ability to contract and produce force therefore increasing the energy in the muscles, which is another great reason to use Athlete Performance Luxury Warm Up Cream (150ml) before you start your activities.
Extra calorie burning
In cold weather, the body has to work harder to keep the body warmer so you’ll burn more calories from fat, which is an extra bonus. The Athlete Performance Luxury Warm Up Cream (150ml) can be applied to help prepare the muscle to work hard.
Lower light levels during winter reduce the feel-good hormones in our brain. Exercise can boost your mood at any time of the year, but it has particularly profound effects during the winter months. Don't let the cold put you off - warm up and get out there.
Consider what you’re wearing
Dress in layers so that when you start warming up you can remove layers as necessary. This is good practice not just in winter but even early starts in spring and summer when there can still be a chill in the air.
Consider a warm-up cream
A topical warm-up cream like the Athlete Performance Luxury Warm Up Cream (150ml) is a great option to gently warm and stimulate the muscles so you’re ready to face everything that Mother Nature throws at you!
Consider warming foods
A drop in temperature can stimulate appetite, so if you're cold during your workout then you may find yourself eating more than usual. Try to stay hydrated with room temperature fluids and eat low GI carbs like oatmeal and sweet potato (try it roasted with a protein topping like tuna mayo). Add a pinch of chilli pepper to soup for a heat kick or grate fresh ginger into stir fries or even porridge.
For many of us, it's easy to forget to hydrate in cooler temperatures. Get into a habit of drinking twenty minutes before and after eating. During training, if you really can't face a cold drink carry a warm flask instead.