Wellness Pathway #199 Warm Up Your Workout

Consider three different styles of getting started with a work out: (1) People put on their work out clothes, stretch and flex a few muscles for about 60 seconds, and hit their work out, hard. (2) People put on their clothes, stretch and flex their entire body for about 10 minutes, and hit their work out, hard. (3) People put on their clothes and ease into their work out, slow.

Which style sounds best to you? If I had to pick between these three alone, I would choose the last option. Stretching and flexing a cold body can do more harm than good. And hitting your work out hard, without warming up, can place damaging stresses on your heart, joints, and other bodily systems.

The best way to warm up is to mimic your work out, but at an easy level of exertion. If you run, start by walking, then jogging, and finally running at your intended pace. If you bike, go slower before you go faster. If you swim, go through a rotation of slow easy strokes before pushing for any personal speed records. If you lift weights, do an easy circuit before you do heavy ones. The whole warm-up process should take 10 to 15 minutes.

During this time you will elevate your body temperature, gradually raise your heart rate, loosen up your joints, and get the blood flowing to your muscles. This will make you more energy efficient and reduce your risk of injury. The best time to do any serious stretching is after you work out, when your body is warm and loose. Even then, be sure to not stretch or bounce to the point of pain or discomfort. A great schedule for a 1-hour workout includes 15 minutes of warm up, 30 minutes of work out, and 15 minutes of cool down. Do this, and your body with thank you for life.

Coaching Inquiries: How do you start your work outs? Do you leave enough time to warm up and cool down? What would it feel like to shorten your work out time and increase your warm up and cool down times?

To reply to this Pathway, use our Feedback Form. To learn more about our Wellness Coaching programs and to arrange for a complimentary wellness coaching session, use our Contact Form or Email Bob.

May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Bob Tschannen-Moran

President, LifeTrek Coaching Internationalwww.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformationwww.SchoolTransformation.com
2010-2011 President, International Association of Coachingwww.CertifiedCoach.org

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