I’m sure at some point we’ve all heard how important a warm-up is. But how many times are we pressed for time and just skip it, or half-heartedly jump a few times and call it a day? As much as it’s been said, it never stops being true—warming up is crucial before any sort of workout or activity.
A warm-up tells your body Hey, we’re about to do some work. You ready? Good, let’s go! Skipping this vital part of your routine can not only affect your performance, but also your health.
We caught up with Dustin Virgil, owner of Woo Hoo! CrossFit, our onsite box at MINDBODY, to get his thoughts on the importance of warming up. “Failure to warm up properly can maximize the risk of injury and significantly limit your overall fitness,” Dustin says. (Yikes, maybe that extra five to ten minutes of warming up isn’t looking so bad after all.)
Here are three other great reasons to always warm up:
Gradually increasing your heart rate and circulation helps you become physically and mentally ready for the exercise to come.
Warming up loosens your joints, increases blood flow to your muscles and elevates your body temperature—hello, higher workout performance!
Stretching your muscles beforehand prepares them for physical activity and (most importantly) prevents injury.
So what does Dustin say makes an ideal warm-up? “It incorporates stretching, while developing critical functions and movements,” he says. “It should work your entire body, and prepare you for rigorous athletic movements.”