Often people show up late to a class and jump right in to high-intensity workout without a warm-up. While others are pressed for time, trying to fit a workout in a busy schedule and skip the warm-up thinking that the main part of the workout is more important anyway--- I know...I did this the other day. I skipped my warm-up and went straight to lifting weights. I didn't injure myself or anything---but I felt a little out of focus.
So...is warming-up really important?
A warm-up is an integral component of a work out. A good warm up will gradually increase your heart rate, increase blood circulation to your muscles, tendons and ligaments, and can also mentally prepare you for your workout. Gale Bernhadt for Active.com writes, "Part of a warm-up process includes getting your head ready for the upcoming activity. Mentally preparing for the upcoming workout, or event, is thought to improve technique, skill and coordination. This mental warm-up also prepares athletes for the discomfort of tough intervals or a race. If the mind is ready to endure discomfort, the body can produce higher speeds. If the mind is unwilling to endure discomfort, physical performance will certainly be limited."