The importance of warm up exercises

Written by Judy Jankovics

This information is not intended as medical advice. Before commencing any sporting activity, please consult your haemophilia treatment centre.

It is important to perform warm-up exercises before commencing a sport to prepare your body and reduce the risk of injury as they provide:

  • Increased blood flow to the working muscles resulting in decreased muscle stiffness
  • Increased blood temperature allowing more oxygen to be available to the muscles and increasing their endurance
  • Increased muscle temperature causing an increase in speed and strength and decreasing the chance of overstretching
  • Increased body temperature which increases muscle elasticity and reduces the risk of strain

Warm-up exercises can simply involve starting slow and gradually increasing the intensity of sport specific activities, eg jogging before a run, or more generalised dynamic movement of the body parts the way they would be used for the sport.

To be effective you need to raise a light sweat and increase your breathing rate. Spend at least 10 minutes warming up; longer in colder weather.

Muscle stretches are more effective and less likely to cause injury if you perform them after you have warmed up your body. Stretches need to be held for at least 20 seconds and repeated at least once for each muscle.

You should never feel pain with warm up exercises and stretches.

Judy Jankovics

Registered Physiotherapist

Judy is a registered physiotherapist with over 25 years of clinical, training and consulting experience. She has developed expertise in injury prevention and management, training and corporate health and is a dynamic public speaker and motivator.

As a clinician, Judy worked in private practice providing treatment and rehabilitation for sporting, work-related and personal injuries. With a strong focus on education she then moved into the role of an occupational rehabilitation consultant developing expertise in managing workers with multiple barriers to return to work and including those with compounding personal health issues. 

Judy has a particular interest in health and wellbeing having completed post graduate studies in lifestyle medicine. This discipline explores all aspects of lifestyle management from research into the causes of lifestyle based diseases, evidence based practice in managing these, assessment, consultation, education and promotion. She is using this expertise to develop workplace based health and wellbeing strategies for her clients.

Read more about Judy

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