With the increased obesity awareness, health and fitness has become an important component of everyday life. Everyone seems to have either picked up a sport, started a cardio activity or begun lifting weights. But you can’t multiply without first learning how to add. In other terms, you can’t exercise if you don’t know how to stretch. Sure you might be improving your quality of life by exercising, but you can also be damaging your body at the same time. Stretching is important to help warm up and cool down your body before and after exercise respectively. The act of stretching helps prepare the muscles for an impending switch in activity level. It’s important to note that the stretching done before and after an exercise isn’t the same. Let’s discuss the differences and why it’s important to use each style of stretching when exercising.
This form of stretching is important to perform before any switch from a low intensity to high intensity activity. The movements performed in dynamic stretching are meant to mimic those involved in the exercise. For example if someone was to participate in a running activity, they may potentially stand in one spot and quickly bounce back and forth on either foot, while lifting their feet off of the ground and kicking high with their knees.
Dynamic stretching allows for the muscles to perform less stressful but similar activities in order to warm up for the actual event. This form of stretching allows you to gradual increase your motions without an initial sudden jerk of motion that static stretching requires. The motions also don’t have to be held for long periods of time to be effective, causing less discomfort to the individual performing the movements.
Although static stretching is usually reserved to be performed after strenuous activity, many people are first introduced to stretching by this method. Static stretching involves stretching until an individual feels tension and then holding that position for at least 30 seconds. Thirty seconds is the minimum amount of time a static stretch should be held before it merits any benefit. Because the individual simply has to stretch as far as they can, little instruction and guidance is required to learners. This makes it very easy for beginning stretchers to familiarize themselves with the world of stretching.
Static stretches should in fact be saved as a post activity cool down because it helps to relieve the tension built up from the lactose production during intensive activities that can cause muscles to swell and become sore. Static stretching will also help to lengthen the muscle and improve the individual’s flexibility. Static stretching isn’t to be done to the point of where pain is felt. If pain continues, stop the stretch immediately to prevent injuries.
If you’re in need of some different stretching moves to try out, head over to Body Building as they have some great moves that also help by telling you which body parts are targeted in each stretch.
[quote_center]Do you properly stretch out every time you exercise?[/quote_center]
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