You've heard it time and time again – you should always warm-up before you exercise. It is one of the most commonly skipped aspects of the average fitness regimen and, more often than not, people skip the warm up because they aren't sure what to do. This is why we've prepared a complete warm up for running in Denver, CO. Look no further than right here next time you are preparing for a run or workout.
Is A Warm-Up Really Necessary?
The short answer is yes! You should always warm up for running in Denver, CO or anywhere else for that matter. Your warm up plays two essential roles in your workout, helping you prevent injury, as well as enhancing your athletic performance.
Most of us spend the majority of our days sitting at a desk with our noses buried in the computer. With many professions, this lack of movement is practically unavoidable. When your body is in an inactive state, you are producing about 15 to 20 percent of blood flow to your muscles. Additionally, the smaller blood vessels in your muscles are closed. It only takes about ten minutes of total body exercise to drive blood flow up to 70 or 75 percent. With more blood flow comes an increase in muscle temperature which supports faster muscle contraction and relaxation.
This is why it is so important that you warm up for running in Denver, CO. Cold muscles not only prevent you from performing at an optimum level but also leave you prone to serious injury. Studies have shown that muscles that have gone through a warm up process require more force and more muscle length to become injured than those that did not go through a warm up.
When it comes to a warm up for running in Denver, CO, it is equally as important for your muscles as it is for your heart. A study of 44 men who had no symptoms of heart problems ran on a treadmill at high-intensity without any sort of warm up. The electrocardiogram showed that 70 percent of these subjects displayed abnormal changes that were related to the low blood supply to the heart. In order to complete the study, 50 percent of the men who showed abnormal results completed a two-minute, moderate-intensity jog prior to the high-intensity test. Following that 10 subjects showed normal ECG readings and 10 showed improved results.
So all that being said, yes. Your warm up truly is necessary.
A Running Coach's Approach To A Warm Up For Running In Denver, CO
In high altitude, the warm up portion of your workout is all the more important. We recommend that you warm up for 10 to 20 minutes before starting your workout. This is a soft recommendation though, some runners will want a longer warm up to feel prepared. Here's what we recommend to all of our clients who are seeking a warm up for running in Denver, CO.
Quad + Glute Walks
From a stand, grab one foot behind you, gently pulling your foot towards your butt. Hold for 1-second, release and set forward. Repeat on the other leg for 30-seconds to 1-minute.
Grab your leg behind your knee, pulling up toward your chest. Then open your hips, directing your leg out to the side to increase hip mobility. Repeat on the other leg for 30-seconds to 1-minute.
Standing, kick your leg straight out in front as high as is comfortable. Step forward and kick with the other leg. Repeat for 30-seconds to 1-minute.
Sit back with your weight on your heels with your arms relaxed by your sides. Jump reaching your arms up over your head. Repeat for 30-seconds to 1-minute.
Perform the traditional skipping motion, allowing your arms to move comfortably. Do so for 1-minute.
High Knee Jogging
Jog in place, pulling your knees up high to your chest. Perform for 1-minute.
Jog in place, pulling your heels up toward your butt. Perform for 1-minute.
Perform traditional jumping jacks for 1-minute.
All of these dynamic exercises will increase mobility and encourage blood flow to reach the major muscle groups that will be used during your run. If you are looking for more guidance to get into running or improve your capacity, contact our Denver running coach today!