Hot Cream for Warming-Up, Fact or Myth?

19 September 2022

It is important to do warming-up when exercising.

It is important to do warming-up when exercising. You do it gradually, starting with 5-10 minutes warm-up, followed by core movements, and cooling down. Gradual warm-ups help improve the cardiovascular system by increasing body temperature and blood flow to the muscles. Warm muscles contract more forcefully and relax more quickly, reducing the risk of overstretching muscles and causing injury. Your overall body temperature also increases, which increases muscle elasticity which may increase speed and strength.

If you start exercising energetically without warming up first, you can potentially cause stress and strain on your muscles and put a lot of stress on your heart and lungs.

But many people mistakenly believe that using a hot cream containing methyl salicylate will help increase body temperature so that the body becomes ready for exercise. It is a misconception!

In fact, use of hot cream containing methyl salicylate in hot temperatures can increase ts absorption by 3 times compared to controls and increase the risk of side effects on the area of application. Therefore, the use of hot creams containing methyl salicylate either before, during or after activities which generally increase our body temperature such as hot baths, swimming, sunbathing, or strenuous exercise, is not recommended.

Apart from that, high temperatures in your surroundings can also increase your body temperature prematurely so that it may cause your body to experience fatigue and affect exercise performance. Therefore, when warming up, you should use the body temperature cooling method to avoid heat related illnesses (diseases caused by hot temperatures).

Cooling methods can be done using various methods. You can do the cooling by taking a cold shower, using a cooling pack, or using menthol as a mouthwash or applying menthol topically to the neck, arms, and upper thighs during exercise.


Eur J Clin Pharmacol.1986;31(1):49-52

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