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September 07, 2016 wellness-news-wisdom

Ready. Set. Stretch.

You feel you have the perfect workout routine: You head to the gym. You spend half your time on the treadmill and the other half lifting weights. You go home. Perfect?

Most of us are aware of the importance of incorporating both cardiovascular and strength activities into our workouts. However, flexibility training is often neglected, yet is just as important. There are three main elements to any fitness program, which include cardiovascular conditioning, strength training, and flexibility.

Flexibility is your body’s ability to move through a full range of motion. Flexibility training is about stretching the muscle groups you use during physical activity. Having a good flexibility/stretching program as part of your daily workout routine can be beneficial to your body in numerous ways, including improved performance and muscle coordination, reduced muscle tension and soreness, greater freedom of movement, improved posture, decreased risk of injury and low back pain, and improved blood circulation.

Stretching cold muscles can cause injury, so always stretch after your body has “warmed up.” Follow these rules when performing flexibility exercises:

  • Target large muscle groups.
  • Hold each stretch for a minimum of 15-30 seconds.
  • Do not bounce. Perform slow, static stretches.
  • Relax and breathe freely. Do not hold your breath.
  • Expect to feel tension but avoid straining or pushing to the point of pain.

Ready… set… stretch! It is important for everyone and should be a part of your daily routine. Your body will thank you!

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