How To Stay Flexible As You Get Older

by Jayne Holden
(Jacksonville, Florida, USA)

Do you consider stretching to be an important part of your workout? Or is it just something that you fit in if you have time, after all the importantexercises are done?.

You might be surprised to learn that stretching is actually a very important part of your fitness routine. In fact, stretching can make the difference between a successful workout and one that doesn’t bring you the results you need, or even leaves you injured. Here is some important information that you need to know about stretching.

Stretching is essential when you’re trying to increase your health and your mobility. Stretching before and after your workout will increase the benefits your body gains from exercise.

Before your workout, stretching warms up soft tissues to help prevent injuries like tears in the ligaments, muscle strains and bone fractures.Stretching helps increase blood flow in your body and sends oxygen to all the various parts.

Some other benefits of stretching are improved muscle tone, less muscle stiffness and cramping after exercise, and more flexibility. Stretching after a workout can even ease your back pain. If you include stretching as a regular part of your workout, you will have better posture, circulation, and strong muscles. It also helps in managing stress and can improve your mental clarity.

For all these reasons, it is vital to stretch before your exercise as a warm up, and after you exercise as a cool down. Whether you’re doing strengthtraining or aerobic activity, you will benefit from warming up with a stretching routine. This will warm up your muscles and prepare them to handle the stress that is soon coming up.

Cooling down by stretching after you exercise relaxes the muscles and lengthens the tissues around the joints. You should stretch within ten minutes after exercising, so your body doesn’t have time to completely cool down before you stretch. 

When you begin your exercise, do five to ten minutes of warm-up activity before stretching. That might include a quick brisk walk, making large movements, or running in place. Stretching a cold muscle can actually cause the injuries you want to prevent.

When you stretch, hold the position until the muscle begins to feel relaxed. That can vary depending on your fitness level. Also, only stretch as far as your muscle will allow you. You don’t want to injure yourself by overstretching.

Contrary to what many people believe, stretching is an important part of a fitness routine. By including it as part of your regular workout, you will soon begin to see the benefits from it.

Not only will you gain more from your exercise routine, you will also feel better, move better, and think more clearly. That makes stretching the perfect way to start and end each of your workouts.