STRETCHING: Your Body Deserves ItFrom beginners to advanced, stretching is a key component of your exercise routine. It is just as important as strength or cardio training, but very often overlooked. Whether you have just finished your first workout ever, or your tenth triathlon, give your body a chance to cool off and relax with stretching.
When you exercise, whether it's aerobic or anaerobic, your muscles will contract and flex. A good way to relax them is stretching. They worked hard all day and especially throughout your workout.
Proper stretches will lower your stress levels, relax your body, slow down your heart rate, increase circulation, enhance coordination and ensure better posture.Download some stretches to your iPod.
Properly warm up before you stretch any muscle.Cold muscles are easily pulled and injured.
A 5-10 minute warm up of most exercises should work for most.
Stretch until you feel a bit of tension.Too little will not help you and too much will hurt you.
Stop when you feel some tension, you can always adjust your angle for more or less of a stretch.
Do not bounce. Slowly feel the stretch and hold.Bouncing leads to injuries. Many people do this. Do not do this!
Micro tears in your muscle from bouncing can lead to scar tissue which can lead to pain and even tighter muscles.
Hold each stretch for up to 30 seconds.15 seconds is minimal, 20 better, 25 even better, 30…best.
A little bit of time will go a long way. It usually takes 30 seconds to safely lengthen your muscle.
Breathe in and out deep and slow.R E L A X ...Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to feel your muscles relax and your heart rate drop.
If you feel pain, back off a bit and hold the stretch pain free. Remember, this is supposed to feel good and relax you.
MORE POSITIVES FROM STRETCHING:
INCREASED CIRCULATION:Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles.
Blood brings nourishment to your muscle tissue.
Blood also takes away unwanted waste products in your muscles.
STRESS RELIEF:Muscles tend to get tight during stressful times. Stretching will relax those contracted muscles and help ease stress.
BETTER POSTURE:Tight muscles in your chest, lower back and other areas can affect your posture, leading to pain and discomfort. Stretch them to help correct the situation.
ENHANCED COORDINATION:Coordination and balance are necessary for everyone, especially as you get older and your muscles are less responsive to the your Central Nervous System. Stretching will maintain the full range of motion in your joints, yielding better balance.
INCREASED FLEXIBILITY:Flexible muscles make daily living easier.
Flexibility diminishes as you get older, but can be maintained and even regained.
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