Monday, January 23, 2012

Why Stretching is Important

Before working out it is important to properly stretch so you do not sustain an injury while working out or playing a sport. The benefits of stretching include reduced muscle soreness after running and even better athletic performance. When playing a sport like tennis, soccer, football or any other sport where there are sudden bursts of speed and sudden stopping it is very important that you stretch before and after exercise so that you don't pull any muscles or experience other injuries. When stretching make sure you stretch the muscle slowly and don't bounce because bouncing can cause injuries. Hold the stretch for around 30 seconds.

If you have just started working out or playing a sport you haven't played in a while it's important to realize that it takes time for your muscles to have the same flexibility that they may have had and that you remember having. This occurred to me when I played soccer for the first time in a few years and I ended up pulling a groin muscle. I knew how to make the moves but because I hadn't stretched properly my body wasn't able to do what I wanted it to do. I stopped quickly and cut back to the side and that is when it happened. Luckily it wasn't a bad pull but it still made it uncomfortable running for a few weeks.

Also, prior to beginning a workout you need to warm up your muscles with a few minutes of jogging or light running so that you warm your body up in preparation of the real workout.

Below is a really good video I found on how to stretch before working out.

Here is a guide from the Mayo Clinic concerning stretching properly.

Remember to stretch properly before and after workouts in order prevent injuries and to increase performance and athletic abilities.

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