Warm ups

Possibly the most important part of your exercise routine, warm ups prepare your heart, lungs and muscles for the more strenous activities to come. Following are a few of our favorite warm up routines:

Walk -> JogOutside, on a treadmill, around the gym or around the house. Doesn't matter where, but start to warm your body and slowly increase your heart rate. After a few minutes, increase the speed of your walking, swing your arms a little more than naturally, or move to an easy jog. Continue for a few more minutes then preform some light stretching. See our light stretching section of this page for some ideas.
BicycleIf you have a stationary bicycle available to you at the gym or your house, this is a great, no impact way to warm up. Bicycle riding outside is also great, but is likely to take more time. Five or ten minutes at an easy pace will help prepare your body for more to come. Then move on to some light stretching.
For this type of warm up, all you need is some floor space. Do some situps, jumping jacks, squats and push ups. Your goal should be to warm your body and get your heart rate up, not to max out the number of reps or go to exhaustion.
Perform stretches similar to those in our stretching section, but don't strain. On each stretch, you should feel like you could go further, but don't. Your goal isn't to increase your flexibility. It's just to loosen the muscles so they're ready to be worked. Stretch out your whole body. You may want to do additional stretching on the body part(s) you'll be working on this workout.

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