How many times do you run out of the gym without stretch, or skip the cool down portion of your favorite group exercise class? Stretching is so often something people skip at the end of a workout because they are either in a rush or too tired to do anything else. Or when they do, they just rush through the stretches and don't get the full benefit. What many don't realize is that stretching is just as important as your actual workout, for many reasons.
We stretch to improve our flexibility. Flexibility is the range of motion available to our joints and is so important because it improves muscle balance around a joint, thus improving posture, reduces the chance of injury from playing sports or in every day activities, and it increases blood and nutrient supply to muscles and cartilage, thereby reducing muscle soreness after training. As we age, stretching becomes even more important as our bodies do not recover from workouts and/or injuries as quickly and as easily as it did in our youth.
Never stretch cold muscles... make sure you are warmed up and then focus on stretching each major muscle group in the body. Hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds until the point of tension but not to the point of pain. The perfect time to stretch is immediately following your workout.
Do not stretch however if you have a muscle or ligmanet sprain, after recent fractures, if muscles are injured or torn or when sharp pains are felt in the joints or muscles. It is vital however that you incorporate stretching into each and every single one of your workouts. You will stay healthier, feel better and ready for your next workout. For more intense stretching, try a restorative yoga class. A restorative yoga class incorporates deep stretching where the poses are held for 1-3 minutes. This may feel difficult at first, but when you go home you'll feel so relaxed and limber. For more information about stretching, email our certified -Personal Trainer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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49 U.S. Highway 202
Far Hills, NJ 07931