When I was training for my half marathon, I was having pains from tight muscles. Joy reminded me then about stretching out, and it changed my issues immensely. I believe, like Joy, that the muscles need to be stretched out, to ease them into the exercise you are doing, and I also think it’s worth taking the time to stretch out after your exercise too. My new yoga practice is also about stretching out the muscles, I couldn’t believe how tight they had become recently! Now they are more relaxed by far. Enjoy your stretching.
Even though some experts believe that stretching is a waste of time and might increase your risk of injury, I personally feel it does the complete opposite – promotes self body awareness, prevents injuries, and increases mental relaxation and centering. There is a ton of research out there that supports both sides of these claims, so really, it is up to you to decide what’s best for you.
A general consensus is that a workout should look something like this:
- Warm up: A warm up of 5-15 minutes of similar activity that you will be doing in your workout that day. It should be at a lower intensity than your actual workout.
- Stretches: These stretches should be dynamic in nature and can be blended into your warm up. Dynamic flexibility is the ability to move a limb through its full range of motion. You can see examples of this here and here.
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