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Starting to Run? Why you must warm up!

Starting to Run? Why you must warm up!

Most of us know it is a good idea to warm up before exercising.  This is especially important when the temperature drops in the winter months.

When we are cold, our soft tissues such as ligaments, muscles and tendons are less elastic, making them more prone to tears and inflammation.  (Think about cold plasticine!).

When we warm up and start moving, this also gets our joints moving easier and reminds our bodies how they should be moving and getting those neural pathways going!

When it is cold, our blood vessels also constrict which can reduce the blood flow and oxygen available to the muscles as we exercise, meaning we may find the pace that was easy when it was milder, much more of a slog!  Warming up means that blood flow is redirected to our muscles where it is needed.

Your warm up should include some general mobility exercises for your joints such as hip circles, squats and trunk rotations as well as some movements to start getting your heart rate increasing such as brisk walking and gradually increasing your pace before running.

If in doubt ask advice from your physio. Treat yourself to a sports rehab massage afterwards to recover really well and prepare yourself for the next outing.

Tara Lawson
Chartered Physiotherapist

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