The importance of warming up
There’s nothing more off-putting than waking up the morning after doing some exercise and feeling like you can barely move. Warm up and cool down, as well as stretching (See Month 5) are crucial to avoid this.
Obviously I’m going to include my usual mantra of walking, anywhere and everywhere. But you should even stretch before and after a walk to avoid injury or even just aches and pains.
Plus, sometimes you need to get your heart going a bit faster than a walk allows, so try these out:
- Stand at the bottom of your stairs (or by your decking or back step). Facing the step, step up, left foot first, followed by your right foot, and back down left foot first, followed by the right foot. Repeat 20 times. Do the same again, leading with the right foot. To get your heart pumping, you need to do it quite quickly, hold on to the banister if this helps keep you steady.
- If you are ok doing squats, then do 20 fast squats as a warm up.
- What about gentle jogging or marching on the spot? If marching, get those knees as high up as you can, and get your arms moving too.
- If you planning a good arm workout, an extra warm up on your arms isn’t going to do any harm. Stand straight bring your arms to your chest in ‘boxing’ pose and punch out forwards and across your body crating a slight twist at your waist. Repeat, at least 20 times with each arm (alternating). If you want to make it a bit harder, use the resistance bands from Exercise 2: wrap the band around your back and hold one end in each hand. See Ex3 for this with and without the resistance bands.
And with summer approaching, let’s start thinking about getting those arms ready for t-shirts and vests. Nice toned shoulders and biceps/triceps look great with a glass of holiday fizz!