We love our outdoor lifestyle here in Santa Cruz County. It’s so easy to get outside, swim, bike, hike, garden, surf, and trail run. All this activity outdoors is great for our health, as long as we remember to properly warm-up our bodies. The main benefit of warming up is injury prevention. A warm-up helps…

The main benefit of warming up is injury prevention.

A warm-up helps get your cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems prepared for physical activity. When blood pumps to an area in the body, it lowers the chance of a muscle pull or joint injury. 

Gradually increasing your heart rate and blood circulation loosens your joints. It also increases blood flow to the muscles. Warm muscles and joints are more flexible and ready for action.

Try This Pre-Activity Warm-Up

If you don’t already have a warm-up routine, this one is quick and easy. You can do it before going for a walk, lifting weights in the gym, and even skiing!

Upper Body

  1. Neck rolls — 5-10 in each direction
  2. Shoulder rolls — 5-10 back and forward
  3. Swimming arms — 5 sets back and forward
  4. Criss cross arm swing — 5-10

Spine (hold these for 5-10 seconds each)

  1. Forward bend and extend stretch
  2. Hang-dog
  3. Side lean
  4. Spinal twists

Lower Body

  1. Front leg swings — 5-10 each leg
  2. Side leg swings — 5-10 each leg
  3. Hip circles — 5-10 in each direction
  4. Air squats
  5. Lunge stretch (hold for 5-10 seconds each side)

Warming up allows your muscle temperatures to increase. This leads to increased flexibility. More flexibility means less injury. If you want to prevent injury or improve your athletic performance, do your warm-up.