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Warm Up Exercise - Get Ready for Action With An Exercise Warm Up

It's important to use warm up exercise when you exercise to stay fit and lose weight in menopause. Here's how.

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Why are exercises to warm up so important?

It's better for body and mind if you prepare yourself before you launch into an exercise session. Warming up:

  • Boosts circulation and gets the blood supply flowing to the muscles you're going to use.
  • Raises your body temperature so your muscles are warmed and work more efficiently. Pre-exercise delivers more oxygen to your muscles which also increases their stamina.
  • Gets you in the right frame of mind for exercise and tells your body to prepare for action.
  • Helps you perform at your best, and makes you less likely to injure yourself.
  • Makes joints more flexible and helps you stretch more effectively.

Warm Up Exercise: Before Aerobic Exercise

Always join a class where others are at the same level of fitness as you are
ŠIstockphoto.com/Tomaz Levstek

The best preparation for a cardiovascular session is a gentle bout of the same activity that you're about to perform.

Make the warm up gradual and progressive. If you're going for a run or using the treadmill, start at a walking pace for a minute or two, then gradually increase the pace to a gentle jog before upping the tempo to running.

Before doing part of your aerobic exercise program, start with marching on the spot, followed by a couple of circuits of gentle jogging or some light aerobic moves from your usual routine. Then you can start on the more strenuous exercises.

How long should your warm up exercises last? About 5-10 minutes is fine, less if you're already warm or are planning a lighter session, more if the day is cold or you want to do a vigorous workout.

Warm Up Exercise: Before Strength Training

You can use the aerobic warm up before a session of strength training exercises, or you can prepare each group of muscles by using lighter weights for one set of repetitions before moving on to a heavier weight.

Warm Up Exercise: Stretching

By all means include a few stretches as part of your warm up routine, but take care, as you can injure yourself by stretching cold muscles. You'll get the most benefit if you do your stretches after your exercise, as part of an exercise cool down.

Doing a cool down is just as vital as warming up properly, and doesn't have to take long. Always fit in a sequence of stretches to help reduce stiffness, maintain and improve flexibility and keep your muscles in good trim so you're less likely to suffer an injury.

For a complete guide to suitable stretching exercises, see this Library of Stretches. When you stretch, focus particularly on the muscles you've just worked and any muscles that feel sore or tender.

Make sure you include warm up exercise and cool down stretches every time you workout.

Go from Warm Up Exercise to Exercise To Lose Weight.

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Exercise safety

Take care when you exercise - follow these tips for exercise safety.

- Wear the right clothing, and choose footwear that supports foot and ankle and cushions impact.

- Start any new exercise regime slowly, do only as much as you can manage easily and build up gradually.

- Take special care if you have an existing condition such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, or arthritis. Always seek medical advice before exercising.

- Have a fitness check at the gym when you join.

- Ensure any instructor is properly qualified and the class is at the right level for you. Never join a class where everyone is younger and fitter than you are. Be realistic about your abilities and you'll enjoy your exercise much more.

- Make sure you have enough space to move freely and that the flooring is non-slip.

- Do your warm up exercise (see left) before starting, and always cool down at the end of the session.

- If you take a break from exercise, re-start at a lower level and build up again slowly.

- Avoid overly long or strenuous workouts. Take it easier if the weather's hot, and don't exercise if you're feeling unwell.


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Beat-menopause-weight-gain.com does not offer medical advice. Please consult your physician before making any changes to your usual lifestyle.
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