A warm-up prepares the body for physical activity by gradually increasing muscle temperature and metabolism, and increasing blood flow and oxygen delivery to the muscles. Warm-ups also protect connective tissue (the tendons that connect muscle to bone) and improve performance by lengthening short, tight (cold) muscles. Many individuals stretch in a misguided attempt to warm-up. However, because cold muscles are tight, there is a chance of injury when stretching without first warming-up. Start your warm-ups slowly (e.g., walk before running) and gradually increase the intensity. Warm-up for at least 5 minutes.
Always warm-up before stretching or exercising.
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