Why is it important to warm up?Many people think that warming up is overrated and unnecessary, some declare they don't have time, and others just simply don't know what to do (that's where I come in, keep reading!). Regardless what sport or activity you are about to take part in, it is always important to prepare your body properly.
Here are 3 reasons why you should always warm up:
Feel better and perform better during the activity
Prevent muscle soreness post-workout
What would be considered a proper warm up?There are many different types of warm up moves and techniques, which are usually determined by the type of activity about to be performed. In general a good warm up would be any type of movement that increases the heart rate and warms the muscles and joints about to be used in that particular activity. For example, if you are getting ready to embark on a hike one would want to focus on lower body and core exercises during warm up; whereas, a warm up prior to canoeing should include muscles of the upper body, lower body, and core.
Now let's get into the actual warm up
Here are 3 must-do warm up moves for the best hike:This warm up will only take about 5-10 minutes and will be well worth it in the end. 1. Forward Leg Swings
Stand alongside and put a hand on a wall, chair, or even tree and swing your outside leg forwards and backwards keeping your upper body straight and eyes straight ahead. Perform 15 swings per leg2. Butt Kicks and High Knees
You can perform either of these moving forward or on the spot, but make sure you start out slow and then slowly increase your speed. Try to perform 5 per leg at a slower pace and then 15 per leg a little bit faster of each. For the butt kicks, stay on the balls of your feet while flexing your knees and kicking your heels to your bum. Then for the high knees just like exaggerated marching keep your body and legs in line. Take a big step forward and drive one of your knees up while going up on to your toe of the opposite foot. Almost like a slow motion exaggerated run and make sure you get your arms involved just like while running.
3. Squat to Hip Flexor
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Lower your bum down into a squat, as if you are sitting back in a chair making sure your knees stay behind your toes. While in a squat position bring one leg back so you are in a lunge position. Keep your hips pushed forward so you feel stretch in the front of your hips and then return to standing position and repeat with the other leg for 10 reps per leg.
Don't forget to fuel your body properly before a hike with a healthy balanced meal, bring snacks with you (depending on the length and intensity of your hike), and drink lot's of water before, during, and after your hike to stay hydrated!