But, did you know that the warm up is actually a critical part of your workout? Zumba fitness makes warming up an important part of class. In our instructor training we are taught that the right kind of warm up should:
1. Loosen up the muscles and tendons to prepare for a greater range of motion, and;
2. Rev up blood flow and body heat - warm muscles use fuel that is stored within them much more efficiently, and allow for better overall movement--which means you get a better workout.
Pay attention to the warm up in your next Zumba fitness class. It is probably done to a popular, upbeat song. You will notice that the basic movement of the warm up revolves around a "step, touch; step, touch" pattern---nothing too difficult...but definitely enough to get the heart pumping, and increase your body temperature.
The warm-up phase continues from there, and ideally should last 5-10 minutes, building in intensity, and gradually increasing the circulation throughout your body.
Warming up is key to moving through the rest of your workout safely, and helps to reduce your risk of injury, because warm muscles are better able to absorb impact. Increased oxygen to the brain also helps to improve coordination, which can help to prevent injuries, as well.
And, warming up the right way also helps with better delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, which helps you to regulate and control breathing.
Warm up! Then, JOIN THE PARTY!