LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - During exercise, most folks get concerned with the number of calories they burn or miles they run. But what about your flexibility? What about your posture? Stretching muscles that are frequently shortened during exercise or through your daily routine can ease and prevent chronic pain and helm maintain your range of motion as you age.
During a workout, a lot of us are probably concerned about the number of calories burned or miles run; but what about flexibility and posture? Stretching muscles that are frequently shortened during exercise or through your daily routine can ease and prevent chronic pain and help maintain your range of movement as you age.
Fitness experts at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas recommend warming up and stretching each of the major muscle groups (arms, legs, back, abs, and glutes) before exercise. However, stretching can be done at anytime — when you wake up, before bed, or during breaks at work.
There are two types of stretches — static and dynamic. Both have physical and mental benefits. Routine stretching not only promotes balance and muscle lengthening, but also can reduce stress and help with establishing a healthy sleep pattern.
Before exercise, you should warm up by doing dynamic stretches, which are like your workout, but at a lower intensity. A good warm-up before cardio or strength-training routine could be a brisk walk, walking lunges, leg swings, high steps, or what they call "butt kicks."
Static stretches like side bends, planks or butterflies — any move to stretch your hamstrings, calves, hips and thighs, held for 15 to 30 seconds are most beneficial after exercise.
During any stretching routine, whether it's static or dynamic, you should feel a stretch, but you shouldn't feel pain. Be careful not to push your body farther past a normal range of motion.