Do you have an auto that has been standing for a while or a lawnmower that has been resting through the winter? We are confident you will agree that it is always best to run it up to full power gently, so the lubricating oil can circulate. The same principle applies to people.
One sure way to strain a muscle is to leap out of bed and start doing sit-ups. Before jumping into a workout, make sure you stretch. Having flexibility allows for athlete recovery, warm up, and muscle pain relief. We need to improve flexibility first throughout our bodies before we put them under exercise pressure. We recommend assisted stretching, which helps you stretch out all your muscles and will leave you feeling refreshed.
1) Begin by doing static stretches of your limbs to improve flexibility. Stretch a particular muscle beyond comfort and hold the position as long as you can, but no longer than 30 seconds. Work through all your major muscles, especially the ones you will exert most in your exercise routine that follows.
2) Relax for a short while, twisting and moving all your joints and making sure you have no pain or discomfort. Do not continue with stretching or exercising if you feel discomfort. Discuss this with your stretching coach or mentor.
3) If you are having trouble stretching all of your muscles, assisted stretching can help you improve your flexibility and range of motion. Through assisted stretching, you will relieve any tension you might feel. Your fitness professional will ensure you are comfortable while also guaranteeing a great stretch. After your stretching session, you can enter a period of mindfulness in which your mind and body become one.
4) Lie down on a yoga mat for a few minutes in continued mindfulness. Feel the warm blood coursing through your muscles and improve flexibility further. Take care not to enter into a cool down period though. Before this happens, begin your circuit of exercises at home or at the gym.
5) Enjoy the sensation that only stretching before and after exercise brings. Remind yourself that exercise is part of healthy living, not an end in itself. The poet wrote in Desiderata, “go placidly amid the noise and haste … if you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter.”
6)Enter gently into a cool down stretching routine as your exercise session ends. Do not overtrain your body. You are a sprinter on an over-run. Come down to earth slowly and then relax. Grab a quick shower followed by a healthy snack.
Did you know there is scientific evidence that stretching really does improve flexibility? The U.S. National Library of Medicine published a stretching review on Pubmed. Research by leading scientists concluded, “The data on stretching and muscle soreness indicate that, on average, individuals will observe a reduction in soreness … with a lower possibility of injury …”
It is always a good idea to ask a doctor before changing medication. Likewise, Stretch Station offers a free consultation session in order for you to experience a comfortable passive stretching experience. Allow us to show you how to stretch your muscles and ligaments to improve flexibility at a safe increase rate. Do you remember the auto and lawnmower? Go gently in the beginning, and take care.
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