Remember to Stretch Before Your Workout Routine
Stretching out properly before engaging in any exercise or athletic activity is the best way to prevent injuries. Even if you are doing simple tasks such as gardening, housework, or walking, you should still take a few moments to stretch. The following suggestions will help you establish a good stretching routine.
Understand which muscles you will be using. By knowing what your workout or activity will demand, you will better be able to concentrate your stretching activities in the right places. Focus on those muscles as you do a full body stretching routine.
Start slowly and gradually increase the amount of stretching you do. If you feel pain, you are trying to stretch your muscles too much. Try to stretch in a warm room.
Once you feel your muscles reaching their limit, hold the stretch for ten to twenty seconds. Then push just a little further and hold for another count of ten. Take your time and do your stretches gently. Don’t bounce when you stretch. It does nothing to improve your stretching abilities and could instead cause injuries to your muscles. Remember to breathe when you are stretching. There is a tendency to hold your breath.
If your workout needs to be a bit shorter that day, take the time off of the end, not the beginning. Don’t skip your stretching routine just to fit your entire workout in. Stretch fully first, then do as much of your workout as you can.
At the end of your workout, stretch again. You will allow your muscles to fully cool down, and you will be able to take advantage of increased flexibility.
As always, consult a doctor before undertaking any type of new physical activity. If you find that you are not able to develop a good stretching program on your own, get the help of a certified trainer, physical therapist, or exercise instructor.
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