Why You Need to Stretch

 

Whenever you are active whether you are running a marathon or if you are going to the gym to do a workout, it is important that you take a few minutes to stretch before and after you exert yourself. Just be sure to warm up first because you never want to stretch “cold” muscles. You can even skip the pre-game stretch but if you opt to do it anyway just be sure that your muscles are adequately warm so warm them up for at least ten minutes. Even if you play sports, you should always take a couple of minutes to stretch before and after the game. Stretching will ensure that you are properly warmed up and that you will be much less likely to pull something. If you pull something, you could be out of commission for a very long time depending on the severity of your injury.

Many people are familiar with stretching but may not know how to do it properly or what stretches are important for certain parts of the body and muscles. Using some stretch dvds is a great way to learn the proper way to stretch. You may already be familiar with some of them already, or you may learn new ones.

There are countless benefits to stretching and it only takes a few minutes to stretch properly. Stretching can even help ease any discomfort caused by things such as joint stiffness and can also help you to perform better and exert yourself more in your workout or game.

If you have better flexibility, you will be better able to move your joints, and you will have a broader range of motion. Your muscles will also be able to work better, and you will be putting less strain on your body. Stretching is also great for getting the blood pumping and can even get you more “pumped up.”

When you stretch, you want to make sure that you are focusing on all of the main muscle groups. This includes your thighs, calves, hips, lower back, shoulders, and neck. Also, be sure that you take some time to stretch both sides of the body for symmetry.

When you stretch, you want to take your time to focus on your breathing and hold each stretch for about 30 seconds and don’t bounce around. Keep your movements calm, even and slow. You don’t want to hurt yourself or cause yourself to be uncomfortable so if a stretch is beginning to hurt, ease off a little. It’s possible to hurt yourself while stretching so be sure to listen to your body.

Yoga and tai chi are a super way to warm up as they are considered to be “active” stretching which is ideal. Even if you have a busy day and you are trying to squeeze in a workout into a packed schedule, you should never skip the stretch. It would be better to shorten your workout if you had to in order to make time for your stretches.

 

Bradley P. Bolden

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