Instructor Warms Up to Her Work


Tina Mix Berrios has been a fitness instructor--teaching aerobics, muscle conditioning, weightlifting and circuit training--for 10 years. Her pet peeve is that exercisers do not cherish the warmup session.

“Warming up--and cooling down--are as important as the exercise itself,” she says. “People come to class when the warmup is over and leave during the cool-down. When people come in late, I usually say something to them in class.”

Here are her warmup tips and why warming up is so crucial to a good workout:

* Warming up prepares the body physiologically and psychologically for physical performance.


* Warmup lessens the possibility of injury.

* A proper warmup helps redirect your blood flow from nutrient-rich places such as the stomach and spleen to the muscles being used. This gives you more stamina by providing your muscles with nutrients and oxygen.

* Choose a warmup that emphasizes the same muscles you plan to use during the workout.

* The longer you plan to work out, the longer you should warm up. For example, if you plan to work out for an hour, the standard warmup time is 10 minutes.

* Start out slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your warmup.

* Warming up raises both the general body and deep muscle temperatures, which increases flexibility.

* When warming up, start with the smaller muscle groups, then go into the larger muscle groups.

* People who are out of shape tend to neglect the importance of warming up more than other exercisers.

* Improper or no warming up can lead to injuries (such as pulled muscles), fainting and cramping. Some studies have also shown that people who improperly warm up tire quicker during exercise.



Tina Mix Berrios currently teaches at Bally Total Fitness, Culver City.