To help boost your performance and avoid encountering any unexpected injuries during your runs, make sure to know how to warm up before running. It is the most critical part of your exercise session. Also check out our article on other common running mistakes to avoid.
However, you might be wondering what a warm-up is and whether you must do it. This blog will help you understand what warm-up is, why you should do it, and how to warm up before running.
What is a Warm-up?
A warm-up is an essential part of your exercise session. You need to do it before and after any intensive physical activity, such as running.
From the word itself, “warm” literally means warming up your body, which increases your heart rate and gets more blood circulation. A 5–10 minute warm-up before running can be beneficial for you because it helps prepare your body for an intense running session.
Warm-up for Running Benefits
A warm-up wakes up your body and gradually lets your body feel the intensity of your workout by starting slowly.
Starting your run with a warm-up can benefit you in the following ways:
Lowers the Risk of Injuries
Warming up your muscles before running increases muscle elasticity, which helps reduce tension and, in turn, reduces any risk of muscle injury. It also allows you to efficiently warm up your body, preventing you from overheating while running.
Enhances Your Flexibility
Stretching is a popular warm-up for most runners. It is done regularly before and after every run. Stretching helps enhance your flexibility. It can help avoid unexpected injuries from muscle tension.
Having better flexibility is beneficial not just for running but also for any other type of exercise.
Increases Body and Muscle Temperature
Doing warm-ups helps increase your body and muscle temperature. An increase in muscle temperature ensures a proper supply of oxygen to your muscles, which allows them to relax quickly and enables you to perform your task efficiently.
Boosts Your Running Performance
A proper warm-up helps you gain all the benefits mentioned above, which in turn helps boost your running performance. If you want to run with ease without worrying about any unexpected injuries, make sure not to skip a warm-up before running.
Helps You Be Mentally Prepared
Jumping straight into an intensive running session without a warm-up can stress you out. An introduction can also help you be mentally prepared. You can use it to think about what you are about to do.
How to Do a Proper Warm-up Before Running
Your warm-up will depend on your physical condition. There are two types of running warm-ups that you can do to help prepare your body: static and active. Below are some examples of what you can try for each of them.
Active Running Warm-ups
Active warm-ups are the most common type of warm-up where they help prepare your body for movement.
Below are some examples of active running warm-ups:
- Walking Briskly
- Jogging Slowly
- Side Lunges
- Squats with Hip Rotation
- Jumping Jacks
You can do 5–10 minutes of light aerobic exercises or any of the examples above to help loosen up your muscles and increase your body temperature.
Static Running Warm-ups
After doing your active warm-up, you may proceed with doing a static warm-up. A static warm-up involves stretching. You can try some of the examples below.
- Thigh Stretching
- Tricep Stretches
- Hamstring Stretch
- Hip Stretch
It is recommended that you do this for 15 seconds or until you feel a stretch in your muscles. It will help increase your range of motion and flexibility.
Once you’ve done both active and static warm-ups, you may now begin your run. Start slowly and gradually increase your speed.
Check your posture at all times and maintain proper form throughout your run. Slow down if you need to catch your breath. Control your breathing and make sure to always listen to your body.
The Bottom Line
Most runners often overlook the warm-up sessions. However, it is the most important thing you need to do before running. It is something that you don’t want to skip in your running exercise routine.
Don’t forget to do a quick 5-10 minute cool-down after running. It can have as many benefits as doing a warm-up. Your body also needs to cool down after an intensive run.
Do you find this article helpful in your running journey? Read the rest of our blog posts for more inspiration!