Should I warm-up before my workout?

The beginning of your workout is as important as the workout itself. Your warm-up should prepare your body for the activity you have planned. By incorporating flexibility, muscle-activation exercises, and a few total-body movements, you will increase your body temperature, warm up your muscles for enhanced movement, and get your mind ready for a great workout. Movement preparation is an integral component to a great workout, so take the time to make sure you complete each component of the warm-up before you do the rest of the workout.
Eric Olsen
You should never go directly from rest into intense effort; a "cold" muscle is prone to injury, and this also puts stress on the heart. Stretch gently before beginning any moderate activity. Allow yourself at least 10 minutes to warm up; walk relatively slowly before increasing the pace to brisk; if you are going to run, walk first at an increasingly brisk pace, then break into a slow jog before increasing your running pace.
Lifefit: An Effective Exercise Program for Optimal Health and a Longer Life

More About this Book

Lifefit: An Effective Exercise Program for Optimal Health and a Longer Life

An easy-to-follow programme for lengthening and improving lives. More than an exercise guide, this text is an effective tool for making meaningful lifestyle decisions to benefit long-term fitness. In...

Absolutely! You should always have a 5-10 minute warm-up before any workout. Your warm up should consist of a 5 minute low intensity cardio activity (treadmill, bike, light calisthenics) and a 5-10 minute period of stretching. Depending on your present state of health and fitness you may engage in various forms of corrective stretching if you have any muscle imbalances or postural deviations. If you have progressed beyond corrective stretches, then your warm-up flexibility might be more specific to the strength or power exercises to follow your warm-up. In either case it is paramount to begin every workout with a warm-up to get your body and mind primed for physical activity.

You should always warm up before exercising because it prepares your body for the workout to come. A good general warm up will include flexibility activities and some light to moderate cardio activity. Flexibility exercises can help address muscle imbalances and improve your range of motion while cardio activities can get your heart pumping and your blood flowing. Warming up is also thought to help prevent some injuries, though it is never a guarantee. Skipping the warm up portion of your workout can seem like a time saver, but you will be cheating yourself in the end by not giving your body a chance to gear up for all the hard work of an exercise routine.
Joel Merritt
Absolutely yes. A warm up before you workout is like giving your body advanced notice to prepare for activity that's coming. By increasing the blood flow to your muscles they will be more receptive to what you are going to be doing.  This will not only increase your results, but also decrease your risk of injury.  I like to tell my clients to think of it like this.  If I plan on watching a football game at the house with with 5 buddies, I can either let my wife know a few days in advance (warm her up to the idea), or I can just have them show up and say "the guys are here to watch the game."  Which one do you think a wife would respond better to?  A warm up will certainly give better results and decreased risk of injury.
A proper warm up before your workout is always a good idea.  Warming up before a workout will loosen the muscle, increase blood flow and heart rate.  A good proper warm before exercise will be 5-10 minutes of biking, treadmill or even ellipical to start.  Even adding in some foam rolling exercise will help as well to loosen those tight muscles in certain areas.
Alongside a physical warm-up routine it can be helpful to have a mental warm-up routine. A mental pre-workout routine can be used prior to exercising as a way to control the environment, provide stability in a highly unstable environment, trigger concentration, help decrease anxiety, and provide positive focus to someone who normally engages in negative self talk. Examples of things that may be contained in a pre-workout routine include: eating the same food before you workout, wearing specific workout clothes, physically warming up in a certain way, taking some deep breaths, listening to a certain kind of music, and using the same positive key words. Your body can go much further than your mind will let it. Try to set a side the negative thoughts, worries from the day or stressors and just focus on your workout. 

Doing a low intensity warm-up (biking, walking, etc.) can make big differences in your workouts. Warm-ups do several good things for the body prior to a workout including increasing flexibility, blood flow, lung performance, and oxygen delivery to the muscles. These improvements in body function may help you to avoid injury and increase your ability to perform at a higher level.

Continue Learning about How to Prepare for Exercise

How to Prepare for Exercise

How to Prepare for Exercise

Before you start an exercise regimen, it is important to consult a healthcare provider to ensure you do not have any conditions that may be hampered by exercise. If all is a go – read up on fitness tip, choose an activity, e...

stablish a routine and welcome the rewards!

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.