When we are pressed for time, running late, or just eager to start our workout, it can be tempting to skip the warm-up.

However, warming up before exercise, or before engaging in strenuous activity, has very real physiological, and often psychological, benefits.

The general rule is: shorter and more intense workouts, need longer warm-up.  For example, track sprinters will warm-up for as much as an hour before a big race. Where as training sessions of an hour or more, a warm up of  ten to twenty minutes is plenty. 

In our 30-minute Shape-up class we do a whole body warm-up that takes about 5 minutes, depending on how cold it is. This is sufficient according to many research papers to get blood circulating and muscles activated for a safe workout.

Therefore, if you are exercising to improve health and fitness, a good rule of thumb is to warm-up in the activity for about 5 to 10 minutes.  For example, for a run, you would start with a brisk walk for 5 to 10 minutes and include some dynamic stretching. 

Remember, a warm-up is not intense and doesn’t include static stretching (holding poses), it is even paced, allowing for blood flow to the muscles and engaging the whole body.

A warm-up is an essential part of any exercise regime. It helps to prepare the body and mind for the workout ahead and decreases the chances of injury during exercise.

Personally, the warm-up helps me overcome my exercise objections on days when I just don’t feel like exercising – a moving body releases hormones distracting the mind from its busyness and moves it into feeling great with exercise.

To warm up for the online 9-minute program, I recommend 1 minute of marching on the spot followed by one modified round of the circuit.

If you would like to see what the 9-Minute program is all about the link button is below.


Live well with fitness!


Written by Anna: Nutritionist and Exercise Therapist @SquareBoxFitness.com