one of the treats of working out is “getting to” stretch.  we can stretch everyday and should—-but we can also overdo it and of course, shouldn’t—.

warm up with walking or light movement prior to stretching.  like a cold rubber band when a cold muscle is stretched risk of tearing can occur, or an over-stretch injury.  stretch after a work out when the body is warm.  if you need to stretch before you begin an exercise make sure you have warmed that area or massaged the muscle to prepare for the stretch.    stretching can help prevent potential muscle soreness.

ACE FITNESS recommends the following when performing stretching:

  • Take a deep breath and slowly exhale as you gently stretch the muscle to a point of tension
  • Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds, relax and then repeat the stretch two to four more times
  • Dynamic stretches are more advanced and should be instructed by a qualified professional.
  • Avoid these stretching mistakes:
  •   Don’t bounce a stretch. Holding a stretch is more effective and there is less risk of injury.
  •   Don’t stretch a muscle that is not warmed up.
  •   Don’t strain or push a muscle too far. If a stretch hurts, ease up.
  •   Don’t hold your breath during the stretch. Continue to breathe normally.

stretching after an endurance activity is highly recommended.  you can also stretch after warm shower(the warm water elevates muscle and body temp) and even right after wake up in the morning—a perfect treat at the start of your day.