Sub up with a warm-up

RE­PLACE YOUR REG­U­LAR WORK­OUT SES­SION WITH A WARM-UP ON THE DAYS YOU DON’T HAVE TIME TO EX­ER­CISE

The Gulf Today - Panorama - - CONTENTS - By Wina Stur­geon

Un­less you are an elite ath­lete mak­ing money from your sport, it’s hard to stay re­li­gious about con­di­tion­ing. At times, there will come an ir­re­sistible urge to skip your sched­uled train­ing. You may be tired, the gym may be too crowded, or you sim­ply may not feel like work­ing out. You may be out of town and days may go by be­fore you get back to your reg­u­lar train­ing ses­sions. If that hap­pens to you, at least do a warm-up. The most im­por­tant rea­son for do­ing a warm-up dur­ing those times when your ex­er­cise pro­gramme is skipped is that it will help slow down your loss of fit­ness.

The fact is, mus­cles have no loy­alty. They don’t care how du­ti­fully you worked out last month. If you’re not ex­er­cis­ing NOW, your strength, flex­i­bil­ity and con­di­tion­ing will start to fade and di­min­ish. That will be­gin within a week. If you get no ex­er­cise for two weeks, you can lose as much as 10 per cent of your fit­ness, ac­cord­ing to many sci­en­tific stud­ies. That’s the rea­son you feel so shaky when you get up af­ter you’ve been bedrid­den with some­thing like the flu or a con­di­tion that re­quired

hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion. The worst part is that you can’t rush to re­gain the lost fit­ness. It must be done slowly and care­fully so that the now-weaker mus­cles and con­nec­tive tis­sue (ten­dons and lig­a­ments) get back to their former strength and flex­i­bil­ity without be­ing in­jured.

Mean­while, if you can’t get to the gym or out­side for a run or a bike ride, a good warm-up will give you many of the ben­e­fits of a more se­ri­ous work­out. A warmup is ba­si­cally ‘go­ing through the mo­tions.’ It can in­clude jog­ging in place, squat­ting and stand­ing up 10 times, swing­ing your arms in cir­cles, bend­ing joints by twist­ing and flex­ing your body or any other kind of move­ment that pumps blood into the mus­cles.

A thor­ough warmup will work all the mus­cles and joints of the body. An en­er­getic one can make you sweat. Kick up the speed and it will be an aer­o­bic work­out. While a good train­ing ses­sion should last at least an hour, warming up the body needs only 15 min­utes.

Never do a warm-up just be­fore bed­time. That kind of ac­tiv­ity may make it harder to fall asleep or to stay asleep. Don’t do it upon get­ting up in the morn­ing; be­cause your body needs to ‘wake up’ af­ter lay­ing rel­a­tively still for (hope­fully) eight hours.

Af­ter you have raised the tem­per­a­ture in the mus­cles and tis­sues of your body, it’s a good time to stretch. Con­nec­tive tis­sues will be softer and more pli­able so you will get a greater range of mo­tion in the stretch, mak­ing you more flex­i­ble.

Some good moves to make in a warm-up in­clude squat­ting down on the balls of your feet and bal­anc­ing for 10 sec­onds, bring­ing the el­bows out to the side and lift­ing them as high as pos­si­ble, and do­ing walk­ing lunges across the room and back again while bal­anc­ing your body mass be­tween both legs.

Go­ing through the mo­tions is par­tic­u­larly use­ful af­ter a long air­plane ride or even a long drive.

Restor­ing mo­bil­ity to the body by mak­ing it warmer in­ter­nally will help you re­tain your fit­ness even if you’re not in the gym.

Restor­ing mo­bil­ity to the body by mak­ing it warmer in­ter­nally will help you re­tain your fit­ness even if you’re not in the gym.

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