Warm up or stretch before physical activity? These two terms are often confused, along with when you are supposed to do a warm-up and when you should be stretching. Therefore, we have prepared this article to try to clarify everything.

Warming up: Preparing the body for exercise

The term is obvious… The warm-up is used to literally “warm up” our machine, namely our body, to prepare for any sustained effort that may be required for whatever sport we may be doing.

The warm-up has specific goals: To raise body temperature, and to increase heart rate and breathing. Moreover, it prepares the joints to perform movements requiring a greater range of motion. All of these factors affect the body’s reaction speed.

What is the main goal of warming up? To reduce the risk of injury! When the muscles and joints are warmed up through the increase in body temperature, they become more efficient in carrying out quick and larger movements. As well, the increase in body temperature causes the blood vessel to dilate, which can then deliver more blood and more oxygen to the stressed muscles and body overall. This supplies more energy to the muscles. Add to that the fact the synovial fluid in the joints becomes more liquefied, which increases lubrication and further protects joint health.

What is an effective warm-up?

Since the main objective is to increase the body temperature and work the cardiovascular system, here are some tips for a good warm-up:

  • A 10-to-15-minute warm-up is generally enough.
  • A basic warm-up can be done in different ways: jogging, stationary bike, jumping rope, going up and down stairs repeatedly, etc.
  • As son as the first drops of sweat appear, you’re ready!

Note that certain disciplines may require more specific warm-ups, such as performing rotational movements of the trunk or certain joints. For example, before a soccer game, you should specifically warm up the lower back, hips and thighs. This can be done through a series of dynamic movements like squats or knees lifts.

Stretching: To reduce stiffness and muscle pain

Stretching should be done after the period of training or playing a sport. Their goal is to improve the elasticity of the muscles to prevent stiffness and muscle pain, i.e., the famous cramps!

Generally a few minutes are enough after training in order to properly stretch a few targeted muscles:

  • Stretching—when practised after the muscles have been warmed up by sport—aims to stretch the muscle fibres, allowing for greater range. This same range of motion would not be possible at rest.
  • The goal is to increase blood and oxygen circulation in the soft tissues to reduce muscle tension.
  • Stretching improves muscle flexibility, and flexibility overall.
  • There are “static” stretches and “active” stretches. Static stretching can be done by anyone, at any time of the day, with the aim of improving flexibility.
  • Active stretching has the same objectives, but it should not be done “cold”, i.e., without the body being warmed up. Rather, they take the form of repeated movements, which are similar to those done in the physical discipline previously performed. They increase muscle flexibility and range of motion for, ultimately, better performance!

Genacol Optimum, for your joints recovery

Get some help from Genacol® Optimum—a high-quality natural supplement—to optimize your knee joint recovery. Genacol Optimum provides a combination of 4 essential natural ingredients to maintain joint health: AminoLock® Collagen, Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane).

Did you know that 67% – 90% of tendons, ligaments and cartilages are composed of collagen? Physical activities may sometimes cause early cartilage deterioration in your knees. AminoLock® Collagen maintain healthy cartilage and relieves your pain, with proven effectiveness for joint health supported by 3 clinical studies!

Given that it has the lowest molecular weight in the world—less than 1 kDa (kilodalton)—, it is easily absorbed by your body, with greater and faster results.

Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM also have recognized properties to improve joint mobility and flexibility. Together, these ingredients provide numerous benefits for cartilage, tendons and ligaments and form a very complete solution.

Don’t get too excited! Start physical activities slowly, be sure to stretch and get a little boost from Genacol Optimum.

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