This is part 2 to our 30 day weight loss plan. For part one, go here.
So you’re back! Last time we learned about finding our baselines and setting appropriate SMART Goals. Now it’s time to get moving in a healthy a direction!
As we learned before, the body is an amazing machine and is capable of some equally amazing things. The key to unlocking its full potential is to keep it healthy, while also challenging it. In the second part of our series, we’re going to explore one of the most important elements of any fitness routine, the warm-up.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
A key element in keeping your body healthy and performing well during your workouts is the warmup. A proper warmup typically contains two main elements – stretching and a cardiovascular component.
Warmups are essential for optimal performance. Just as if you warm up your car or pre-heat your oven for optimal performance, you also need to warm up your body for optimal physical activity. A warmup stimulates blood flow to soft tissues, which you will use during your workout. In addition to activating muscles, dynamic stretches (which we will discuss) will improve flexibility, mobility and posture.
What are dynamic stretches?
Great question. There are a few different stretching techniques, the most common being static stretching and dynamic stretching. In short, static stretches seek to enhance range of motion by using sustained holds, usually lasting 30 seconds or more. Static stretches are great for improving general range of motion and loosening tight muscles. Dynamic stretches are more unique. They provide flexibility when your body moves at fast speeds. Dynamic stretches also stimulate the central nervous system to increase blood flow, leading to increase strength and power. While the best routines will be a combination of both stretching methods, dynamic stretching is most beneficial before and during your workout.
What is the cardiovascular element?
Just as stretching prepares your nerves and muscles for activity, the cardiovascular element preps your heart for physical activity. This could be as simple as jogging at a low speed to get your heart rate up, doing jumping jacks, or if you’re up for a challenge some burpees or squat thrusts. The key of the cardiovascular portion is to take your heart rate a state of rest to slightly elevated or into a fat-burning zone (Find out heart rate zones in our next installment!)
To ensure a thorough warmup, complete both components. This should take between 10 and 15 minutes (very well worth it). Completing this before every workout will increase flexibility, range of motion, and increase the effectiveness of your workouts. More importantly, it will ensure better overall health which is key to achieving sustainable weight loss. So go, get to it! Add in dynamic stretching and a cardio warmup to your routine and feel the difference. When you feel the improvements, message me on twitter to celebrate your increased performance and health!
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