Runners have been reminded to warm up and raise their oxygen levels before setting off on a vigorous workout.
According to a report from Arthritis UK and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, failure to warm up properly can lead to serious long term health problems.
A study of more than 2,500 UK adults showed only half who exercise have been shown how to warm up properly.
Despite this, 28 per cent of people, including children, cannot be bothered to take even five minutes to prepare their limbs for exercise, while a further 27 per cent do not believe it is important.
Still, the Active Age 2012 report highlighted the risks of not warming up, including a greater chance of developing osteoarthritis in later life.
Greg Whyte is a former Olympic pentathlete and a professor of sport and exercise science at Liverpool John Moores University.
He said: "What you have to think about is the warm up.
"It is absolutely crucial to make sure that you optimise performance and importantly that you keep safe and healthy - in doing so you will reduce the risk of injury."
The expert advised taking between five and ten minutes to increase the temperature of the core, muscles, ligaments and tendons with an aerobic activity.
This should be followed by a light stretch before heading out on a run or other forms of exercise.
Mr Whyte added: "Once you finish make sure that you cool down. The cool down is often the warm up for the next session. Those really are the key tips."
The expert advised those planning to take up running to start with walking first as this offers a great introduction to the sport, while preparing your body for a higher rate of activity.
The benefits of exercise should never be undermined, however as it does more than simply keep your body in shape.
Mr Whyte said: "We know that those people who are inactive and don't exercise enough have an increased risk of just about every disease known to man."
Posted by Stewart Elliott
12/07/2012 13:55:04Subscribe to the News RSS feed