Do you stretch everyday? Okay, at least every time after a work out? Fine, how about every time before you work out? If you’re like me and you only stretch when you remember which is maybe once a week, we need to change that now!
Stretching is actually considered it’s own exercise. I know, I was a bit shocked by this statement as well. It’s true though, stretching is a low impact exercise. By stretching everyday you lower chances of suffering muscle sprains and strains. Most importantly, if you’re working out then you MUST stretch. Stretching allows blood flow throughout the body which then makes blood flow to the muscles become faster. This increases the strength and the health of the muscles in a dramatic way, plus makes for leaner muscle grow. Woohoo!
Now, since stretching is technically it’s own form of exercise it’s suggested that you warm up a bit before stretching. Perhaps some light jogging in place for a couple minutes. The best stretch is after a work out because your body is more limber, making stretching easier.
Let’s break down the proper way to get your stretch on!
Stretch gently. If you feel pain, you’ve stretched too far. Listen to your body! That is a key element to all work outs, don’t let your ego get in the way. Hold a stretch for about 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.
Breathing deeply helps you get a deeper stretch AND it helps your body move oxygen-rich blood to those sore muscles. Plus, when there’s more oxygen moving throughout your body that means your body is flushing out more waste and toxins.
Smile and Stretch,