I know, I know, we all know stretching is important right? You’re then wondering why I’m writing this post. Well, it’s just like drinking water or eating your daily servings of fruits and vegetables, sometimes it’s easy to forget how important a stretch can be.
Before you stretch it is important to warm up the body. Spend about 3-5 minutes doing some form of cardiovascular activity to get the blood circulating. Getting the blood flowing warms the muscles, making it easier (and safer) to stretch. Sudden movement of the muscle can cause injury, to avoid this, stretch for at least five minutes after exercise.
Stretching also has a few other advantages besides preventing muscle injury. It improves flexibility and muscle balance around the joint, in effect, also improving posture. Additionally, stretching increases the blood flow and nutrient supply so the muscle and cartilage.
Try to relax while stretching and enjoy it, rather than neglecting it. Concentrate on your breathing, spending about 60 seconds on each stretch. Only stretch until you feel a mild tension and keep in mind that you should really be stretching after working out each muscle group.