Warming up your body with some light exercises beforehand is very important, even if you are going for some simple activities like walking. Warming up helps in raising the temperature of the body and increases blood flow to your muscles. This basically prepares you to take on heavy exercises afterwards and minimizes muscle soreness and the risk of causing any injuries.
Here are some well-known and very effective warm-up exercises that you can do before getting started with your routine walking schedule:
- Ankle Circles
For this easy warm-up exercise, you will need to stand up on one foot and lift the other one off the floor. Now, start flexing the ankle of the leg you have lifted through its range of motion, in a way that your toe makes a circular movement. There is no rush, so keep the momentum slow and do 6 to 8 circles in a clockwise direction and an additional 6 to 8 circles in an anti-clockwise direction. Make sure to repeat this exercise with your other feet.
- Pelvic Loops
In order to do this exercise, you will need to stand up straight and keep your feet wide apart at shoulder length. Now, put your hands on the hips and make sure that your knees are slightly bent. Once you have corrected the stance, slowly move your hips in a non-stop, circular motion. Do not apply major pressure and keep the movement speed mild, while gently pushing your hips forward, right, backwards, left and back to forwards, serially. Complete the rotation in a clockwise direction 10 times and then repeat it in an anti-clockwise direction.
- Leg Swings
For this, you will need to stand up straight, put your hands on the hips, firmly anchor your one leg to the floor and swing the other one from the hip, very loosely, in a forward and backward motion. Make sure to maintain a relaxed form and keep the swing motion in like a pendulum. Avoid swinging your leg any higher than a foot off the floor and do around 20 swings per leg.
- Leg Kicks
This will help you stretch your hamstrings. You can start by standing in an upright position and raising both your arms forward. Now stretch and raise your right leg as high as possible, without bending your knees, parallel to your hands. Release it and repeat the same with your other leg. Keep doing this at least 10 times per leg and you can do additional sets afterwards..
- Arm Circles
Raise both of your arms and hold them straight out towards the sides. Keep your torso upright and make sure that you are assuming the “T” pose. Now, slowly move your arms in backward circular rotational movements. Start with small circles and then slowly increase the diameter once you feel your muscles have loosened up. Do this for 10 to 15 rounds and divide it into sets of 2 or 3.
- Shoulder Rolls
You can either do this warm-up while slowly pacing through the vicinity or while standing still in a place. Keep your upper and lower body posture straight, slightly loosen up your shoulders and move them in a circular motion, like a clock. Do this for 10 rounds in both a clockwise and an anti-clockwise motion.
By completing this easy warm-up routine before the exercise, you will be able to relax your muscles and have a better experience while walking. It will prepare your body and make it ready for any activities that you throw in front of it.