Warming up for athletic events
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Warming up is a widely accepted procedure preceding every type of athletic events, although objective evidence supporting the use of warm up is limited. Coaches, physical educators and athletes of almost every athletic activity assume that the warming-up procedure is a mean by which athletic performance may be improved, and the chance of injury reduced; they also hold that the benefits of warming up have been attributed to an increased range of motion in the joints, increased circulation, decreased viscosity, increased body and muscle temperature and neural facilitation (24) and that warming up has an inherent psychological effect since it helps the athlete to achieve a state of mental readiness or mind set. However, some athletes and coaches are inclined to question the value of warm-up activity on the basis that the athlete may have already exhausted a needed part of his energy when the time comes for the major performance. The value of warm up prior to an athletic event was not questioned until 1945 when Asmussen and Boje studied the role of increased body and muscle temperature on muscular performance. Within the past decade and still today the principle of warm up is the subject of considerable debate and it has gained favour as a topic for research among serious researchers in the physiology of exercise. Numerous studies have investigated the effect of various warm-up procedures on muscular performance in an activity; also certain changes in the physiological phenomena such as heart rate and oxygen consumption have been used as specific warm up, as well as attitude toward warm up have been studied as they affect physical performance (7). The evidence presented by the above research has not been conclusive with a few studies reporting that warm up has no beneficial effect on performance' and in fact may even hinder it, while others have reported that warm up is neither beneficial nor harmful. The majority of the research however has reported that warm up prior to an athletic event is beneficial to performance (7). It is becoming apparent then that there is no one answer to the question and that factors such as the type of the activity, the nature of the warm-up, the extent and intensity of the warm-up, the physiological make-up of the individual and the attitude toward warming up must all be considered. If the results of the research in our field seem to be controversial at this time, that probably is due to the fact that each study has tried to find the answer to the question from a different point of view with different factors involved (24).