An often neglected, but very important part of a workout is the warm up. A warm up prepares your heart, lungs, muscles, bones, and joints for exercise. It also prepares you mentally for what you are about to do. Starting out with vigorous intensity exercise when your muscles are still cold can set you up for injury.
Tips for Warming up:
- Low intensity cardio is a good way to increase the temperature of the body and the muscles
- Start slowly and progress to harder or faster exercise over a 5-8 minute period of time.
- During a warm up, your heart rate should be 40-60% of your max (max HR is about 220-age).
Some light stretching can be done towards the END of your warm up. Save any deep stretching for the end of your workout.