Running is a popular physical activity given its simplicity, benefits and accessibility. All you need are a pair of running shoes, some appropriate running clothing, a run route to follow, maybe a group of friends to run with and you are good to go.
Even though running is easy and beneficial, you have to know how to do it properly to minimize the risk of injury and to enjoy it for years. One of the best ways you can help prepare your body for running is to perform what we call a dynamic warm-up. Without a proper warm up, you are increasing your potential risk of injury while also missing out on the benefits of increasing your mobility and your performance.
A dynamic warm up is a movement-based type of stretching. Your joints and body parts are moving at a controlled speed while being stretched (e.g. swinging arms and legs). It's different from traditional "static" stretching because the stretch position is not held. At no time during dynamic stretching should a body part be forced past the joints normal range of movement.
The main 3 benefits of a proper warm up:
It helps to increase body and muscle temperature
As your muscle temperature increases, oxygen becomes more available to your muscles, allowing them to contract and relax more easily. As a result, you will be able to perform more strenuous tasks with a relative ease. In addition, your heart is given a chance to prepare so it won’t get too strained during your workout. This will lead to an increase in performance.
It helps you to mentally prepare
This is true especially if the workout you are about to perform is more mental than physical, such as hill training, speed workout and tempo runs. You will be much less likely to give up if you give yourself time to remember why you’re working out. Use your time warming up to think about what you’re about to do and why you are doing it, guaranteeing that both your body and mind will be ready to succeed.
It helps to reduce your risk of injury
Warming up loosen your joints, making your muscles less likely to rip, tear, or twist in a harmful way during your workout or run.
A typical warm up consists of 7 to 10 minutes of low-to-moderate intensity exercises. These exercises should mimic movements that you will use in the workout to come, as to optimize your range of motion and prepare your muscles to endure resistance and tension.
Do you know that Striderz performs a group warm up before each and every run, no matter how long, short, fast or slow it is? Join us for a social run every Thursday at 6:30PM and Sunday at 8:30AM in Olympic Village so you won’t miss your warm up anymore. Everyone is welcome to join regardless of their pace and fitness level.