The Main Event: The Importance of Stretching
Anyone who has ever done any sort of exercise has felt sore at one time or another. Any bout of strenuous activity like yard work can lead to muscle soreness as well. Stretching can help ease the soreness, and can help prevent the soreness if done regularly.
There are many reasons why one should stretch before and after exercise. Some of those include: decreasing muscle soreness and increasing range of motion, improving posture, reducing stress, and promoting circulation.¹
There are two types of stretching, Dynamic and Static, each have their own benefits.
Dynamic stretching is when a person stretches in a quicker fluid motion, such as shoulder rolls, marching, etc. It is usually done before a workout as the rapid movements warm the body up, prepare the body for working out, as well as simply stretching the muscles out.
Static stretching is when a person places a muscle in a sustained stretch. These usually last anywhere from 15-30 seconds, although longer is not a bad thing. These are usually done after a workout to lengthen the muscles back out after a period of intense contraction due to weight training, or cardio.
For older adults stretching, both dynamic and static, is imperative for maintaining flexibility and range of motion both of which decrease as people age. While heavy weight lifting might not be in the cards later in life stretching may offset some of the loss of strength by keeping muscles loose and flexible.
This hearkens back to a few blogs back when the benefits of yoga were addressed. It is a perfect combination of stretching and strength training as one must hold positions in classes.
Whether dynamic or static, stretching is very important. It should be as important as the actual workout itself. Take five minutes before and after a workout to stretch those muscles and maintain your flexibility and range of motion and help to prevent injury. Your body will thank you.
Workout Song of the Day – Eye Of the Tiger – Survivor
Buy It On iTunes: Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
Snack of the Day – Greek Yogurt: This is a perfect low-fat, low sugar, high protein snack to have at any time. Greek yogurt is thicker, has roughly double the protein of regular yogurt, and is an excellent source of calcium and potassium among other things. The key is to use plain non-fat Greek yogurt. It can be topped with nuts, fruit, cinnamon, almost anything.
What’s In My Gym Bag? – Yaktrax: These are an excellent product to have for those who enjoy running outside in the winter but don’t want to risk injury on slick spots, snow, and ice. Named for the Tibetan Yak, these slip on cleats give any runner sure footing through some of the most challenging outdoor winter runs. They slip on the soles of your shoes and then strap securely across the front so they don’t come off. So popular are these products that the company has branched off into making Yaktrax for everyday activity, work, skiing, and mountain climbing. They are a great gift for any outdoor lover, or yourself.
Where To Buy: Yaktrax.com
Did You Know? - You need to burn about 7000 calories to lose 1 pound of fat.¹
Motivational Quote - “Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” – Napoleon Hill
About Me - I am a World Instructor Training School (W.I.T.S.) Certified Personal Trainer living on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I am an avid runner with forty races under my belt from 5K’s to marathons. My goal is to share my experiences and love of fitness with as many people as possible whether through this blog or through training. I would love to chat via email at ChristopherSetterlund@gmail.com.
If there are any questions, or topics you would like to see covered in future posts please contact me. If you would like to train with me I am currently plying my trade at Mid-Cape Athletic Club. You may call them to inquire about an appointment at 508-394-3511, visit them online at Midcapeathletic.com, or visit their club at 193 Whites Path in South Yarmouth, MA.