Before undertaking strenuous exercise it is advisable to warm up first; so we are told by experts in the fitness industry. They give us many good reasons why we should take the time, including mental and physical preparation for the workout ahead. Priming mind and body to be ready for the exercise can improve the quality of the workout as well as our co-ordination and reaction times.
There are days when it’s tempting to skip the warm up and jump right in. When time is at a premium (that’s most days for me) – fitting in a run is an achievement in itself. Taking an extra 5 minutes at either end didn’t feel like good use of my time, particularly as it doesn’t burn many calories.
Nevertheless, I am in the habit of doing a warm-up before each session and I have learned that this also has an important place in my daily ‘work’ routine. Again, the temptation is to plough straight into project work, course design or even bringing the accounts up to date in order to submit the latest VAT return. However, there is great benefit in warming up to the task ahead. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time. I’ve found that 5-10 minutes is typically all we need to get primed for successful execution of a piece of work.
The benefits are many, including:
Developing ways to work smarter rather than longer
Creating efficiencies in the process which saves time in the long run
Completing the task more quickly because you’ve thought about it beforehand
It makes sense to spend more time warming up for the larger and more intense projects; whereas you’ll need less time warming up for smaller tasks that don’t require as much energy or focus.
One of the outputs of this exercise is more free time to work on something else or may be to go for a longer run! The ultimate benefit of a regular warm-up is successful achievement of your career goals, faster and we all like the idea of improving our finish time, do we not?