If you are younger, you may think that your body is very limber and is quickly able to adapt and thus you can jump straight into exercise with no sequela. Likewise, if you are on the other end of the spectrum, you may think that the type of exercise you do is so low impact, that you will do no harm by getting right into it. However, it is important to prepare the body for exercise at any age. Preparing for exercise requires a minimum of these three things: hydration and nutrition, warming up and proper clothing.
Warming up before exercising allows your muscles and heart to prepare for activity. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of activity per week for the average adult. That comes down to about 30 minutes a day for 5 days. Of that 30 minutes, about 5-10 should be spent warming up. A warm up is a low-intensity activity to prep your body for a higher level of activity. Low intensity exercise can include swimming, jumping rope, walking, jogging, or really anything you enjoy! After a short warm up, you will want to stretch your muscles as well. Be sure to target all muscle groups including the extensors, flexors, power muscles, and stabilization muscles. Stretching should always be done after a warm up to avoid injury.
Author: Kelsey Davis, PA-C