Warming up and stretching is an essential part of good health and fitness. Physiotherapists strongly recommend to do this before and after each exercise session.
In general, warming up raises the heart rate and increases blood and oxygen flow throughout the body. This prepares the body for physical activity. Your exercise session will follow and there we will see your heart rate and blood flow/ oxygenation increase gradually. At the end of the session, the body is in an ideal state for stretching. It’s important to remember that a warm-up routine is not the same as a stretching routine.
The pre- and post-training physio phases can be divided into two: a general warm-up phase and a stretching phase. You must complete your warm-up program before your workout and the stretching program after the workout.
- Warm up – This process involves slightly raising the temperature of your body while increasing the flow of blood and oxygen throughout your body. During the warm-up phase, your body temperature should increase by one to two degrees Celsius. You will reach this stage when you break your first sweat. Once completed, you are ready to do your physical activity.
- Stretching will also increase the circulation of blood and oxygen in the soft tissues (ie muscles) of your body. It will improve the flexibility and range of motion of your joint, reduce the risk of injury, reduce tension and stress, and even accelerate the healing process associated with many types of injuries.
- The combined time required to complete a warm-up and stretching session is approximately 15 to 25 minutes. The warm-up should be done before your training and the stretching after your training. This will decrease your risk of injury!
Consult your Montreal physiotherapist in order to build your warm-up and stretching routines.