Sometimes we get so “worked up” about our workouts, (cardio and strength training,) we forget about stretching!
The American Council on Exercise stresses the three main factors of fitness:
Unfortunately, most people do not put enough emphasis on flexibility. Some of the benefits of stretching are:
- Greater freedom of movement and improved posture
- Increased physical and mental relaxation
- Released muscle tension and soreness
- Reduced risk of injury
Flexibility is different for all people and is primarily based on one’s genetics, gender, age, body shape, and activity level. As we age, we tend to lose flexibility. However, flexibility will improve with regular training. So keep stretching!!!
Flexibility Exercise Tips:
*Adults should do flexibility exercises at least two or three days each week to improve range of motion.
*Each stretch should be held for 10-30 seconds to the point of tightness or slight discomfort.
*Repeat each stretch two to four times, accumulating 60 seconds per stretch.
*Static, dynamic, ballistic and PNF stretches are all effective.
*Flexibility exercise is most effective when the muscle is warm. Try light aerobic activity or a hot bath to warm the muscles before stretching.