Stretching and Exercise – Why They Are Both Essential and How to Stretch Correctly?
Article by Maryam Getz
Stretching is the most important part of an exercise or training routine and it is often overlooked and misunderstood. Forget to include stretching as part of your exercise and you can cause serious harm. Stretch incorrectly and you can cause serious problems. Here’s why stretching is so significant and how it should be done correctly.
Many people believe stretching is a waste of time. They couldn’t be extra from the truth. Stretching is very important and in fact plays an extremely essential role in exercise.
Stretching should actually be done before exercising and after exercising.
When you exercise your muscles fibers get tight and become shorter. It is for this reason they should be stretched out after exercise to help them return to their normal size. Because your muscles are going to put under a stressful situation with exercise and, as previously discussed they will tighten and become shorten, they need to be stretched and warmed up before exercise to get them ready for this change.
There are many advantages to stretching. Appropriate stretching has proven to:
* Decrease the stiffness in muscles* Increase range of motion* Improve muscle tone* Help you have a nicer physique* Help with your posture* Increased the blood flow of oxygen and nutrients to muscles and other areas of the body* Reduce the risk of becoming injured* Help improve circulation* cut pain in the lower back location* Improve muscle efficiency and performance* Help with stress
Stretching needs to be done properly to gain the benefits it can bring. The body should be warmed up slightly before stretching. Stretching should never be done first with the body not aerobically warmed up first. All it takes is 3-5 minutes of light exercise like a brisk walk, cycling, a slow run, walking up and down stairs. Once the muscled have been warmed up then stretching can start.
To properly stretch make sure you work only one muscle group at a time. The stretch should never cause pain. If it causes pain back off on the stretch or completely put off the exercising for that day. You body is probably trying to tell you something. If you stretch to the point of pain could cause damage to the ligaments, tendons and muscle.
When you stretch do not bounce, bouncing will increase the risk of pulling or tearing the muscle. Stretch thoughtfully and hold the stretch long enough until you feel the muscle tension relax. Many of us have been taught at a young age to hold a stretch for a certain count– that has actual been found to be a not so good method. To be most effective, the stretch needs to be held until the muscle feels relaxed.
When the exercise or event or training has finished it is just as important to stretch again. This helps to relax the stressed muscles. It also elongates the tissues around the joints. Be sure to stretch within at least ten minutes of finishing the exercise or event, so the body does not cool down completely.
Athletes have the tendency to push their bodies to the boundary. As we get older we expect our bodies to behave like they did when we were young. If you want to get the most out of your body, remember to stretch. Stretch before and after athletic events and workout and it will help your body in a lot of ways, you will be less prostrate to hurt and you will feel better for it.
About the Author
Mark has been a cyclist for many years. Every cyclist needs to have a good bike rack. For more information on all the newest designs, best pricing tips and how choose the best bike rack visit: bike racks for cars. In particular you should go here to learn why the hitch mount bike rack is so popular today.