Why Warm Up
Almost every runner knows the importance of a warm up before a race. Even a marathon requires a warm up. But have you ever wondered why and, more importantly, how?
To help you understand why it is so important to warm up, we have put together a short list of the most important physiological effects of warming up.
Increased body temperature
By completing an active warm up before you begin the important part of your running (the race or workout itself), your body raises the temperature in your muscles, thus causing your body temperature to rise. This in turn speeds up your metabolic processes(which is especially important if you are trying to lose weight) and your energy supply.
Enhanced muscle performance
The increased muscle temperature lowers muscular resistance (viscosity). This allows your muscles to contract faster and stronger, which is important if you want to race well!
Increased cardio performance
Warming up also leads to increased cardiac output and a higher respiratory minute volume, which are needed for higher oxygen uptake.
Better joint load distribution
Another positive factor is that even short-term loads cause the cartilage layer in your joints to thicken, thereby widening the bearing surface and thus achieving a better distribution of loads.
A number of research studies have shown that a proper warm-up can reduce the risk of injury.
Particularly in the case of fast and explosive muscular contractions and movements that require good flexibility like hill sprints or finishing a race with a kick.
Warmed-up body tissue has been shown to be more resilient. Warming up can also help prevent injuries by improving your attention and increasing your ability to react.