Friday, June 12, 2009


Stretching is very likely one of my FAVORITE parts of working out! I LOVE a good stretch. Typically I do a warm up, then I do a light stretch. After my workout I like to have a REALLY GOOD stretch session. The past few weeks I've been running outside more and I've come across a lot of others who are engaged in the same activities. I have heard OVER and OVER people's comments about their lack of stretching after workouts. Some have been friends I'm working out with but others have been "strangers" talking to each other as they are running/walking past me as I'm stretching and can't help but overhear! It's SO important!!!!! Of course, I had to come find out the REAL benefits of a good stretch.

At Body & Mind they had these points:
*It improved BALANCE around a joint, so you improve your posture
It will REDUCE chance of injury, from daily activities to playing sports
*It INCREASES blood & nutrients sent to muscles and cartilage; REDUCING muscle soreness!

* DO NOT stretch cold muscles!!! Warm up AT LEAST 3-5 minutes, then stretch, then get on with your activities.

Each major muscle group should be stretch SLOWLY and with CONTROL; holding each stretch for 1-3 sets of 10-60 seconds. Hold to the point of TIGHTNESS NOT PAIN!
* Muscles tighten and shorten when performing any exercise. Stretching them helps RESTORE and improve their length!

There are two different kinds of stretching. STATIC and BALLISTIC. Static is used when your body is at rest. Holding "poses" for a duration of 10-60 seconds Ballistic is a bouncy kind of stretching. It involves fast "jerky" motions. Seen most often the moments before an athlete is set to "go". With any stretch you should be careful, it should NOT hurt!

Why I stretch:
* It feels SO GOOD!!!
* I am less likely to get cramps
* It increases range of motion, INCREASING my performance
* It DECREASES muscle soreness the next day


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