Why bother warming up before a sporting challenge?

Why to stretch before a sports event

Why bother warming up before a sporting challenge?

In our second blog, Phil Bedford, Remedial Sports Massage Therapist, talked about the important role massage has to play to aid your training programme in the weeks before embarking on a sporting challenge.

In the final blog of this series, Phil looks at how warming up, cooling down and what we eat and drink affects our performance.

How should you warm up?

Warming up before you go into your active training is so important.

Spend 10 minutes opening up your whole body performing movements that will create flexibility and blood flow to prepare you for the active training session. Examples are:

Star jumps,

High knees get the heart rate going.

Deep squats and lunges to open up the hips and stretch the upper leg muscles.

You can easily find these exercises on online platforms such as YouTube.

(I am assuming here you heeded my advice in the first blog to get a health check first and the all clear before embarking on your training programme).

What is a cool down?

For every warm up there’s a cool down.

This means at the end of an active training session your body will be tired, possible lactic waste build-up and fatigue.

Bring your heart rate down by doing some slow controlled deep breathing. This will help normalise your resting heart rate and in turn, your body will function better.

Stretch out all body areas and hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds to let the muscle open and relax.

My Simple tips for lessening injury?

During your rest days from training, find yourself a 10-minute yoga stretch session. Again these can be found online.

By doing a stretch session you are giving your muscles, joints, and heart an active overall cleanse. You will hugely benefit from your work-out days and lessen any future injury by doing these sessions.

What should I be drinking to hydrate?

Water water and more water! The most important fluid. Our body is 70% water which helps everything most importantly our muscles to keep them hydrated and toxin-free.

Is there any particular training diet I should follow?

We require protein, fats, and carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates: Try to avoid processed carbohydrates such as cakes, crisps, and fizzy drinks. You are training to make your body more agile so you don’t want to add weight as this will slow you down and impact a good training session.

Pasta, rice, pulses, and vegetables, and some fruits are a good option giving you slow energy release.

Protein: Chicken, Turkey, Beef are good sources of protein to help build muscle strength. If you are vegan there are many types of high protein non-meat substitutes.

Fats: The body requires fats for long sustained events as the body will call on them once you have used all your carbs.

Avocados, nut butters, almonds, cashews, some cheeses, eggs, olive oil, and coconut oil.

Eat an hour or so before training to let the body absorb and prepare for your active energy release.

Phil Bedford has been a therapist for over 25 years training in Birmingham and working both in the UK and abroad including Spain and the United States. 

If you would like to contact Phil Bedford for further advice on training or to book in for a Remedial Sports Massage drop an email to info@handsonatwork.co.uk