Welcome to our fourth Fact Friday!
This week we're going to discuss why warming up is important in the longer term! Again, grab that notebook, pen and take notes. The joints in your body will thank you for this information.
Why is warming up important?
We all know that warming up is important in any kind of training, that's a fact. It pumps blood into the muscles, making them less likely to get injured and ready to give it their all. As some of you will know, your muscles aren't the only thing you warm up, you also "grease" your joints when you warm up. But what actually happens when your joints are lubricated and what are the drawbacks if you don't do it right. That's what we'll try to explain to you in this Fact Friday post.
The anatomy of a warm up
Most of the large joints that can be found in our body are so-called synovial joints. This is a type of joint that contains synovial fluid. Synovial fluid is a fluid your body produces itself, which acts as a lubricant so that the surfaces of the bones that meet in a joint can move smoothly relative to each other. This smooth movement is not only beneficial for better power delivery, but the synovial fluid is also responsible for the nourishment of the articular cartilage. This articular cartilage is a rubbery, shiny, and incredibly slippery substance that covers the outermost parts of the bones in a joint. One of the ways this articular cartilage stays healthy is because the synovial fluid releases nutrients during compression and decompression. When the cartilage is compressed, for example during a squat, the synovial fluid is pushed out. When decompression occurs, it sucks the fluid back in. When this fluid is aspirated, it provides fresh nutrients to the articular cartilage.
To come back to lubrication of the joints.
If your synovial fluid is compressed often, such as during a warm up, it heats up, increasing its viscosity and making it a better lubricant. As explained above, this lubrication is important for the smooth movement of joints and a better ability to nourish your articular cartilage. The latter is especially important in the long run, as the articular cartilage your body has made is unable to reproduce itself once you've passed puberty. So when damaged, this damage is virtually irreversible.
If you do not warm up properly for a long time before strenuous exercise, this can lead to damage to the articular cartilage. This can eventually lead to osteoarthritis. And nobody wants osteoarthritis, right
So think about your joints and this Fact Friday before you go all out during exercise and do a good warm-up. Use this time to mentally prepare yourself and prepare yourself to face it responsibly.