Physical Activity (Warm UP) for Healthy Heart

Physical Activity (Warm UP) for Healthy Heart

A warm up generally consists of a gradual increase in intensity in physical activity. For example, before running or playing an intense sport one might slowly jog to warm muscles and increase heart rate. It is important that warm ups should be specific to the exercise that will follow, which means that exercises should prepare the muscles to be used and to activate the energy systems that are required for that particular activity. Stretching the active muscles is also recommended after doing a warm up.


A warm up will improve the effectiveness of training and should be done before every training session. This is fundamental to a safe practice.
About 60 percent of U.S. adults do not get the recommended levels of physical activity, yet research suggests that regular physical activity is essential for maintaining a healthy heart. To help people jump-start and maintain a physical activity program for their heart, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has developed a new publication.

Direct physical effects:

The second stage should include mobility or stretching exercises. It is important that both static stretches and some calisthenic type activities where the muscle is working over its full range. Press-ups, lunges and squat thrusts are good for this.

The final stage of a warm up should involve a sport-specific or skill-related component. This should work the neuromuscular mechanisms related to the activity. For example, if you were warming up to play soccer you might practice kicking a ball to a teammate.

Your Guide to Physical Activity and Your Heart” presents comprehensive and easy-to-understand information on the impact of physical activity on your heart, as well as the power of physical activity to keep you healthy overall.

Since physical inactivity is one of several major heart disease risk factors that you can do something about, the 44-page guide is full of practical tips, including sample walking and jogging programs, instructions for finding your target heart rate zone, ideas for making fitness a family affair, and an overview of the best physical activities for a healthy heart.

“When it comes to getting in shape, what’s good for you is good for your whole family,” said NHLBI’s Karen A. Donato, S.M., R.D., program coordinator of both We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity and Nutrition), NIH's national education program to prevent childhood obesity, and the NHLBI Obesity Education Initiative. “To maintain health, all adults should be moderately active for at least 30 minutes per day on most days of the week.

To help manage body weight and prevent unhealthy weight gain, at least 60 minutes per day is recommended. Children and adolescents also need to be active for at least 60 minutes per day. So pry the kids off the couch and help yourself stay fit as well by doing enjoyable activities together.”

There are many ways people can incorporate physical activity into everyday life such as:

In addition to providing information on protecting your heart, the guide also addresses the many other benefits of regular physical activity like burning extra calories, building stamina, improving balance, strengthening your lungs, and boosting the way you feel. It deals with the myths and motivational barriers associated with physical activity, while providing practical advice and suggestions for getting the most health benefits from a physical activity program.

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