Fitness Friday Night: Warming Up For Your Workout

I hope you’ve enjoyed these past few Fridays’ survey of various sports adapted for the blind and a few products that make good fitness adaptable for us who are blind or low-vision. Of course, not all of us will be a full-force fitness guru, paraolympian or even an everyday gym rat. What the next few weeks’ survey will give is an overview of a good workout, and reasons for engaging in a regular action plan. Of course, along with describing some of the steps I take, I give credit where credit’s due since many personal trainers and coaches have helped me along. In addition, since beginning to use the ReVision Fitness App which was developed by U.S. goalball standout, Tyler Merren, I’ve learned more about the benefits of good posture and exact movements in exercising.

Whether you’re an attuned athlete or just keeping toned, your workout will involve warming up, then the body of your session, and finally a cool down period. Since my big emphasis is running several miles when I’m at the gym in two or three long segments, I develop my dynamic stretching, core/mat work and weightlifting for the purpose of making myself a better runner. That means on days when I don’t go to the gym, I do stretches that will help build my endurance and stamina for when I am at my home away from home.

Today, let’s focus on the warm-up. Before getting into the physical benefits, you should be aware that it will affect your emotional drive. Doing a combination of toy soldier straight leg lifts, jogging in place, and arm circles-among other things-will get your mindset zeroed in. “It’s time to put other stresses aside and fixate on the rush of adrenaline, the rising heart rate, perspiration, and the endorphins giving your body the eagerness to be active. One lesson I had to learn over the years is that soreness is a byproduct of working various muscles groups when starting or restarting a workout regimen. It’s going to happen. Yet, as you have the goal of toning up, weight loss, and or gaining strength in mind, you will feel satisfied even though your body feels the soreness.

Another important benefit of the warm-up is injury prevention. When your muscles get moving and more flexible, the less chance you’ll have of those terrible pulled muscles, shin splints, cramping up, or muscle strains. That’s why dynamic stretching must come before a long run, sparring on a mat in wrestling or judo, or swimming laps. So even before I hit the treadmill, I do the following list of stretches-sometimes more-beginning with my head and going down to my feet. Of course, you can adapt this list to your needs and time limits.

1.Neck rotations

2.Arm circles

3.Side bends and lateral stretches/windmill toe touches

4. Waist rotations and washers

5. Full body rotations where my legs  and ankles move in circles in sync with my waist

6.Toy soldier marching where I raise one leg and the opposite arm simultaneously and fully extended, then alternating for twenty to thirty reps

7Jumping jacks

8. At this point, the blood is pumping as I jog in place for three to five minutes, increasing my speed throughout, sometimes kicking my heels toward my buttocks but mostly running stationary

Then the time comes for my first long run which usually lasts forty to forty-five minutes.

Maybe, you’ll include a couple sets of sit-ups, crunches and push-ups as well. I tend to do those after my run along with other calisthenic stretches since my muscles have warmed and are more pliable.

Negating the warm-up may result in shocking your system if you immediately run too fast or jump right into lifting heavy weights. Of course, more experienced athletes can customize their weightlifting routine to gain the aerobic and cardio benefits that doing as many reps and sets as possible will bring. But for most of us who are far from this status, building up from the basic stretches and foundations is vitally important. After all, fatigue can set in both in the case of negating several days of working out in a row or if we overdue ourselves from the get-go.

For more about the warm-up, you can set up a routine via your Alexa app or speaker or you can go to the Revision Fitness App and begin with a free two-week trial period.

Next week, we’ll cover some aspects of running.

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