3 Tips to Improving your Warm Up
Everyone has their own routines. Some walk into the gym, do a couple stretches and then hit the weights. Others hop on their favorite cardio machine and get a 20-30-minute session in before they stretch or go lift weights. There is no right or wrong way to warm up because it all depends on the person and their goals. Well, we just wanted to give you 3 quick tips on how you can shock the body to kick start your next workout at an even higher level than you’re currently at.
Before we go any further, the first thing you should do when you wake up is drink a big glass of water to start your day.
The reason why is because your body is made mostly of water and after multiple hours of sleeping and limited movement, your body shifts into a state of dehydration. In this state of dehydration, your muscles will lose their ability to contract and relax, as well as your body slows down the circulatory processing due to lack of water. Do you ever wake up in the morning and feel stiff? Yeah, that is one reason why, you do not have adequate water in your system to keep your system flowing a neutral frequency.
Alright, now for the good stuff.
Complete your cardio after your workout. Often times this can be the game changer in peoples exercise programs. Each time you walk into the gym the clock starts on energy expenditure. You only have some much energy in the tank to help you through your workout. Placing exercises like resistance training at the beginning of your workout allows you to maximize your muscular strength potential.
When you start with cardio first, your body starts to burn these sources of fuel to allow you to complete the task. 5-15 minutes on a treadmill at a low to medium intensity is fine, however when you start to increase the time on the cardio machine, you deplete your energy source. This increase in energy expenditure before you lift weights reduces your strength potential, making a particular weight harder than it actually would be if you had put your cardio on the back end of your workout. A big reason you want to switch it up is because your body needs to build strength in order to supply you with the adequate mechanical force to complete everything else you want to do such as cardio. The higher density of skeletal muscle you have, the higher caloric expenditure your body will need to maintain a balance within your daily life. Simply, if you get stronger your body will need to burn more calories throughout the day to fuel your body.
Tip 1: Put your cardio after your weight training.
Make your warm up multi-directional. Our body is built to move in lots of various ways. Our joints have the ability to glide, slide, and rotate as we move through our everyday life. The goal of our warm up is to increase our core temperature and get our body prepared for the task at hand. When we limit our warm up to a couple planes of motions, we are not truly warming up the body like it is built for.
For example, walk or running on a treadmill. Treadmill work is great in certain situations; however, it limits our body’s ability to move through all planes of motion.
It reduces the joints ability to move side to side and rotate. Even though we can get a good sweat going, we still do not allow our joints to prepare for side to side or rotation movements that we might pursue in the weight room a few minutes later.
Integrating exercises in the warm up that involve all planes of motions, forward, backwards, side to side, and rotation can help increase warm up potential.
Tip 2: Use multiple planes of motion to warm up.
Start with ground base and progress up to standing exercises. We were born to crawl, roll around, walk, run and just move up and down. As we grow older, we conform to our surroundings and our environment and lose our sense of grounding.
Ground base exercises enrich our sense of grounding and stability. They decrease the gravity around our joints, and allow us to move with less stress placed upon them while still getting high efficient stress. This can lead to a reduction in poor postural control and allow our brain and body to reconnect and sync back up before the workout. Re-connecting with the ground through ground based exercises can help improve the quality of your workout. An integration of ground to standing exercise gives fuller effect of your warm up and the quality at which the joints move over time.
Tip 3: Ground base to Standing.
When it’s all said and done, it’s your workout. Exercising and exercise programing is unique and cultivated based on what you desire and like to do. Now if you are in a rut or just want to change things up, mess around with multi-directional exercises, put your cardio on the back end of your workout, and incorporate exercises that make you get up and off the ground.
The better you move, the better you will feel. At the end of the day just go out there and have some fun.
For more exercises check out our YouTube Channel: Cystic Fibrosis Fitness Institute
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Intrinsic motivation is something that develops over time. Kids don’t yet have the cognitive abilities to grasp the concept that, “exercising is good for physical and mental health.” The understanding that by “doing something good for your body now, your future self will thank you,” is far too abstract. Kids don’t live for the future, they live for the here and now.
By the time children are in high school and/or go through puberty, those high order thinking cognitive processes begin to develop. However, social obligations and a sense of figuring out one’s own identify often trump the desire to be consistently active for one’s own physical and/or mental health purposes.
Sports certainly help, as they play a role in encouraging healthy competitiveness within oneself and others, as well as promotes team building and social opportunities that child and young adults actively seek out. However, not every kid plays a sport or has the health opportunities to actively participate in one. So, how do we encourage motivating?
There are two types of motivation: intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Some will say, intrinsic motivation is ideal because it creates long lasting effects on one’s drive and purpose to reach a goal. The definition of intrinsic motivation is, “behavior that is driven by internal rewards.” Extrinsic motivation is the opposite. Extrinsic motivation is defined as, “behavior that is motivated to perform an activity to receive an award or avoid punishment.”
When starting to increase your child’s motivation to exercise, extrinsic motivation is the “easiest” way to go. When young, a child/teen is beginning to develop his/her own sense of motivation and enjoyment from exercising, something that is not going to happen overnight. Fortunately, exercising regularly will naturally contribute to developing intrinsic motivation, as it increases the feel-good happy chemicals in your brain (serotonin, dopamine, endorphins). But, habits do take time, so here are three tips to increase your child’s motivation to exercise!
- Reward System
There are often mixed reactions to implementing a reward system. However, a reward system is not something to frown about when working on establishing a foundation for positive behaviors. Research has shown that children respond better to positive reinforcements than they do to negative reinforcements.
How to begin a behavior reinforcement plan:
- For children ages 7-12: Make a personalized goal tracker with your child. For example, if want your kid to do something physically active 3x a week, create a page with three boxes per week to check off after each workout (e.g., can use stickers, a drawing, a penny, etc.)
- For children 13 and older: they can often keep rack on their own, and independence is key for teenagers and young adults.
- Each workout = 1 point.
- It is up to you to decide how often a reward occurs and what the reward will be.
- Reward types: with your child’s help, create a list of 5 items/things that might be motivating to earn. For example, 30 minutes of a favorite show, a new toy or “surprise box,” staying up later one night a week, choice of a favorite meal for dinner, a new book, etc. The possibilities are endless!
- Each workout = 1 point.
- Social Opportunity
As an adult, performing 15 reps, 4x on one exercise is manageable. Our attention is longer. We enjoy isolation more. We have intrinsic motivation or tangible goals set for ourselves, like losing weight. However, children and young adults are heavily socially dependent with shorter attention spans. Their worlds thrive around social opportunities, So, make physical exercise a social experience. Workout with your child, put on a YouTube video and together and complete 30 minutes. Put on your child’s favorite music on in the background and encourage your child to work out for 20 minutes (set a timer). One time a week (or more) invite a friend or sibling, make it an event that can be done inside or outside, and make it fun.
- Bring back Play
Which brings us to our third tip: Bring back play! Even if you have a teenager or young adult, play is important to developing a positive attitude towards physical exercise. Play can consist of hiking with friends or family, trying a new activity in your community, and generally, reducing the strict structure around exercise that children and young adults often try to escape as they build independence and autonomy. A majority of the time, exercising can consist of structured exercises catered around a specific goal, however, a few times a month it’s important to switch it up and encourage exploring of physical exercise through unstructured (play) opportunities.