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.