Warm Up Before Working Out, Stretch After

Warm Up Before Working Out, Stretch After
Warming up before exercise can help prevent joint pain and reduce the risk of injury. (SeventyFour/Shutterstock)

If your joints start hurting while you’re working out, it’s best to stop and take another approach.

Joint pain is never good during exercise, and it can signify two things: potential injury or the fact that your body isn’t quite ready for the strain. This may be of particular interest as temperatures begin to drop.

Warming up prior to exercise can help prevent joint pain and reduce the risk of an injury. It allows the synovial fluid to work its way into the joints so they are lubricated and move freely.

What would a warm-up look like? It really depends on what you’re doing. If you’re heading outdoors for a walk, jog, or bike ride, it can involve simply starting out at a slower pace. Take 10 to 15 minutes to ease into it before really hitting your stride.

For resistance training, a walk can help. It’s also a good idea to focus on the joints you’ll be using, so performing the movements without any weight, or low weight, is a great habit to get into. Once you’re warm, you should be good to go.

Sometimes it can involve things like shoulder circles or lunges—anything that gets blood to the area.

Warming up before exercise is a good way to avoid injury. Stretching afterward can help, too.

Stretching before a workout can be dangerous. It may trick the body into expanding its range of motion, potentially putting it in compromising situations that can lead to injury. So although you want to be loose and warm prior to a workout, you want to save the stretching for the end.

Stretching after a workout can aid in recovery and prevent soreness that may occur. It will also help to improve your next day’s workout.

Remember to warm up before and stretch after. It can help protect your joints and prevent injury.

If you do feel joint pain during exercise, stop immediately. Reduce your intensity or find alternative exercises.

Mat Lecompte is a health and wellness journalist. This article was first published on Bel Marra Health.
Starting as a journalist over 10 years ago, Mat has not only honed his belief system and approach with practical experience, but he has also worked closely with nutritionists, dieticians, athletes, and fitness professionals. He embraces natural healing methods and believes that diet, exercise and willpower are the foundation of a healthy, happy, and drug-free existence.