Preparing for Sports

Why Warm Up?

It is important to warm up before any physical activity or sporting event is done. The warm up not only provides motivation but there are some good health benefits to doing it as well. People who do not warm up and cool down before and after strenuous activity are normally the ones hurt or suffering from an injury that can sometimes leave someone off their feet for weeks at a time. Some of the health benefits to warming up include blood circulation throughout the body, loosening muscles and making them more limber, sends oxygen to muscles as well as vitamins. This gives the body the ability to breath better. One of the biggest problem people have is the increase in heart rate and blood pressure when doing any kind of activity. Warm up will help with that and help with keeping it under control. Helps so that nerve to muscle pathways are prepared for the work they are about to do. Coordination and reflex improves as well. In the end not only does the body get what it needed to complete the job but the body feels a whole lot better.

Exercises to Do

There are a number of different exercises that can be done to warm the body up before doing anything strenuous. They will do a number of things including stretching and steadying the heart rate and preparing the body for what is about to come. The exercises to do are:

  • Arm circles: Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Rotate arms in small circles forward. After doing the amount you want to do which is normally around 20 stands still for 10 seconds. During this time slowly breath in through the nose and out through the mouth.
  • Jumping jacks: Put feet should width apart and put arms straight out at sides. Simultaneously raise your arms straight up to the ceiling. At the same time jumps to move your feet together. After return your arms back pointing straight out for the sides of the body and jump to move legs back in a position that is shoulder length apart. Repeat over and over. Normally 25 times.
  • Squats: Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Put arms straight out in front of you. Bend the knees keeping arms straight out and back completely straight.
  • Jump rope: Grab and jump rope. Put one hand in each handle. As you flip the rope over the head jump when it comes to the feet and flip it back over the head doing this over and over repeatedly.
  • Walking: Walking in place keeps the heart rate level and helps to keep the body temperature down. Walk at a fast abrupt walk but don't run.
  • Upper body twists: Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Put hand and the hips. Twist at the waist to face the left side of the room. Then turn back to face the opposite direction and continue twisting keeping a standing straight stance.

Stretches that can be done

There are numerous stretches one can do to get the muscles ready. There are tons of muscles that need to be stretched to make the work out easier. Some of these muscles are:

  • Hamstrings These are the muscles in the back of the thigh. They are slightly below the buttock. This is the muscle that most injuries derive from.
  • Quads These are the muscles in the front of the thigh just above the knee.
  • Biceps In the arm between the shoulder and the elbow.

and more.

Injuries from lack of warming up

People don't realize the extent of injuries caused because of lack of judgment. If people do not warm up they can not only sprain something or pull something, they can tear ligaments, separate muscle and more. Some of the most famous baseball players, soccer players, basketball players and football players have had serious injuries resulting in time off they did not want especially if it is during season. Sometimes the only thing that can be done is ice for the swelling and keeping it elevated for reduction in swelling.

References

http://www.sparkpeople.com/community/ask_the_experts.asp?q=10

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/exercises/8-warm-up-exercises-to-do-before-your-winter-workout.html

http://saveyourself.ca/articles/injury-prevention.php

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Sports · Security

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