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Video:Simple Exercise Warm Up

with Leslie Nesbitt

You can greatly reduce your risk of exercise injury by warming up before you begin. Follow this quick warm up and you'll be ready to go for almost any workout.See Transcript

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Transcript:Simple Exercise Warm Up

Hi, I'm Leslie Nesbitt for About.com Health. One of the most important things you can do before working out is warming up.

Why Warm Up?

Definitely don't skip this step. Many times if you do, you'll feel very sore. You can even risk injury if you don't warm up. And you don't need any tools to warm up. It's very basic.

Warm Up Breathing

Let's just start by breathing in and out through the nostrils. And you want to breathe in through your nose for a count of three and then exhale. That's going to calm your mind and bring you into the present so that you can really focus on your workout.

Begin Increasing Heart Rate

So let's get started. Even a basic march is great. Don't forget, drinking lots of water is very helpful. I'm moving my arms so that we can also bring circulation and warming up into those shoulders.

If you're ready, go ahead and take this into a skip. Continue breathing, and make sure you're dropping your heels as you do this.

And if you want a little bit more you can even jog in place. Remember we're still breathing during this and warming up that entire body.

Upper Body Stretch Warm Up

Let's interlace the fingers- we're going to reach overhead, then stretch to the side. Now remember, you want to warm up for a minimum of 6 minutes. 8 to 10 minutes is preferable.

Now if everything's ok with your back we're going to come into a forward fold. We're going to avoid this if you have any back issues. Just let the arms and shoulders and head hang heavy and also you can micro-bend the knees.

I don't recommend straightening them or locking them until you're more loose. Then you're going to slowly roll up, rounding the spine, pulling in the abdominals, and then pulling the head up last.

If you want more dynamic moves as you're warming up, you can press up and reach, so we're warming up those shoulders and we're using those legs as well.

Lower Body Kick Warm Up

Finally use kickboxing moves to warm up again. So you're kicking forward and kicking back, alternating those legs. Hands on the hips if you prefer. Keep breathing.

Warm Up, Cool Down

One last thing, as you're finishing up your warmup, don't forget to cool down gradually before you pick up those weights or resistance tubes. So go ahead and skip first, then bring it down to a march. Keep breathing and drink that water.

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