Samara Donald is: The Gym Coach

Make the most of your workout!

Stretch it out!

 There are a few things I’m notoriously bad at – and stretching after a workout is one of them. Generally I allow for 5 minutes of warm up / dynamic stretching before working out, but somehow that 5 minutes at the end always gets overlooked.

This is really BAD. I’m sure you all know stretching after your workout – particularly static stretching where you hold the stretch for 15 or so seconds – is great for increasing flexibility, which helps keep muscles healthy and able to react to daily stresses such as throwing a ball for the dog or lifting heavy grocery bags.

But I decided to read a little more today and discovered that stretching also helps increase range of motion which helps prevent injury. This is a great investment if you consider only 5 minutes after your workout could save you months on the couch with a sprain or tear. Stretching can also have some additional health benefits such as increased circulation and stress relief, both good for the whole body especially the heart and mind. Again, a great time/benefit trade off if you consider a healthy body and mind leads to longer life.

Ok Ok… so now I know I need to prioritize the post-workout stretch! How about you – will you take the time to stretch?

For more reading on the benefits of stretching, check out these great articles:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stretching/HQ01447

http://www.functional-fitness-facts.com/benefits-of-stretching.html

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This entry was posted on May 23, 2010 by in fitness.
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