We know that overall health involves nurishing our bodies with organic food, and using eco-friendly body and cleaning products. Staying physically active is also very important for overall health.
Regardless of the type of workout and intensity level, a proper warm-up is essential. The warm-up phase should include gentle aerobic activity and stretching.
A quality warm-up begins with five to 10 minutes of light to moderate aerobic activity to gradually increase heart rate. This results in an increase in body temperature preparing the muscles for stretching. The aerobic portion could be as simple as marching in place or walking. Once body temperature is increased, it's time to perform a few quick stretches. To combat next-day soreness and prevent injury it is very important to stretch three key areas; the low back, hamstrings, and shoulder musculature.
To stretch the low back, begin by sitting in a chair. Hold underneath one knee and pull it in toward your chest. Switch sides. Complete this stretch by pulling both knees together in toward your chest.
To stretch the hamstrings, place one foot on the ground in front of your chair then straighten the opposite leg with your heel on the floor. Place your hands on your lap for suport and gently lean forward. Keep that leg straight! Switch legs.
To stretch the back of the shoulder, begin by placing the right arm across the body. Bring the left hand underneath and gently pull arm across the body making sure to keep the shoulders square to the front.
Warm-up General Guidelines
- Effective stretching results in gentle discomfort, not pain
- Hold stretches for 20 seconds during the warm-up phase
- Avoid bouncing
- Do not hold your breath
- Maintain proper posture (naval in, shoulders and chin back)
Now you are ready for a great workout! Remember to drink plenty of water before, during, and after physical activity.