When we talk about exercising, words such as warming-up and stretching always come to our minds. Some people use them correctly, and some others just ignore them and some others confuse them.
In reality, what is warming-up and how important is it before an exercise routine? As its name indicates, what warming-up does is activating blood circulation and the muscles too in close areas, in order to prepare them for the load of activity and strength they will receive. Walking in circuits, increasing speed; moving arms, waist and legs and softly trotting, are some of the options to start. It is very important to do it gradually, because in an uncontrolled manner it can produce injuries.
Stretching is a part of the warming-up process, but it should be done after the above-mentioned activities, in order to facilitate more mobility at the time of stretching our muscles. When stretching, Physiatrist Dayra Erazo recommends to force the muscle until feeling tension thereon, but without exceeding the demand and feeling pain, as it can also result in an injury.
If the exercise to be performed will last long or have impact, it is necessary to warm-up at least during ten minutes and, at the end of the sport practice or physical activity, stretch again the main muscles. This will help to recover energy, relaxing the body and avoiding later pains.
See also: Stretching, a strategy for prevention