Warming up

A warm-up is a light activity that you do for 10 to 15 minutes to prepare your body for being active. Warming up helps improve your body's performance and reduces the chance of injury.

A warm-up can be any low intensity aerobic activity that uses your body's large muscle groups.

Try walking for 5 to 10 minutes then do some light stretches for another 5 to 10 minutes. These stretches can include arm circles, and bending and straightening your arms and legs.

During your warm-up, gradually increase your speed so your heart rate rises and more blood flows to your muscles. For example, start walking at a slow pace, then after your body has warmed up, walk at a quicker pace.

Sometimes warm-ups include movements that are similar to the exercise you're going to be doing. For example, you might shoot baskets before a basketball game, or jog for 5 minutes before doing a 5
kilometer run.

Last Reviewed: December 2016


© 2016 Province of British Columbia. All rights reserved. May be reproduced in its entirety provided the source is acknowledged. This information is not meant to replace advice from your medical doctor or individual counselling with a health professional. It is intended for educational and informational purposes only.

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

Thanks to our partners and endorsers: