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STRETCHING EXERCISE

 

Stretching

There are lots of theories on when, how, if and how long we should stretch with our exercise workout. So lets start by understanding two key points:

  1. A muscle expands before it contracts and its strength is related to its ability to stretch.
  2. A warm muscle stretches more easily than a cold one, and therefore more resistant to overtearing with heavy use.

So stretching is NOT a warm up, instead you must always warm up before stretching.

The purpose of a warm-up is to get the blood flowing to the muscles and joints and get the heart ready for what is to come. For example, typical warm up routines include:

  • Running warm up – 5 minutes walking
  • Weight training warm up – 5 minutes on the stationary cylce or treadmill followed by 5 minutes of a lower intensity version of the activity you are about to perform. If you like, you can add some rhythmic arm movements to warm up upper body joints whilst on the cycle or treadmill.

Now stretch! At least 3-5 minutes. Then reverse this routine at the end of the session as your cool down period.

 

Benefits of Stretching

Stretching is important to keep the body flexible, which in turn helps the muscles work in a more co-ordinated manner, thereby reducing the risk of over exertion of a single muscle. Stretching promotes a balanced range of motion in the joints and generally promotes the feeling of relaxed well-being after a workout.

There are various forms of stretching, all of which provide similar benefits. Yoga and Pilates are the two most common.

 

Yoga

Yoga is one of the best forms of exercise one can do. It can take many forms, depending upon its origin and can range from relatively sedentary poses, to those requiring tremendous strength and flexibility.

At intermediate levels, yoga incorporates both anaerobic and stretching.

Benefits of Yoga:

  • Reduce Stress
  • Improve Your Posture
  • Strengthen the Immune System
  • Alleviate Back Pain
  • Relieve Anxiety
  • Heighten Your Mood
  • Lose Weight
  • Improve Muscle Tone
  • Reverse the Aging Process
  • Increase Flexibility
  • Increase Spiritual Conscio

 

Pilates

Pilates is a method of exercise and physical movement designed to stretch, strengthen, and balance the body. It is a systematic practice of specific exercises coupled with focused breathing patterns, and yoga like movements. One main difference between yoga and pilates is that in yoga, the positions are held, whereas in pilates, the movements are constantly flowing.

Benefits of Pilates

Like Yoga, Pilates yields numerous benefits:

  • Increased lung capacity and circulation through deep breathing
  • Strength and flexibility - particularly of the abdomen and back muscles,
  • Coordination-both muscular and mental,
  • Posture, balance, and core strength control.
  • Bone density and joint health improvement
  • Positive body awareness

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Exercise Index | Benefits | Body Type | Guidelines | Personality | Aerobic | Anaerobic | Compound | Fat Burning | Body Shaping | The Core | Weight Training | Stretching | Troubleshooting | Cooldown

 


 
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