You pound out three miles on the treadmill. You work your way through a series of weightlifting exercises. You even add some time on the stationary bike for good measure — and you smile with satisfaction that you made it through your workout. Nothing to do now but hit the shower. Not so fast. Did you consider stretching those muscles that pulled you through your invigorating workout? Most aerobic and strength training programs inherently cause your muscles to contract and flex. For equal balance, pay attention to stretching those muscles after your workout.
/>Benefits of stretching:
•Regular stretching is a powerful part of any exercise program. Stretching increases flexibility. Flexible muscles can improve your daily performance. Tasks such as lifting packages, bending to tie your shoes or hurrying to catch a bus become easier and less tiring.
•Stretching improves range of motion of your joints. Good range of motion keeps you in better balance, which will help keep you mobile and less prone to injury from falls — especially as you age.
•Stretching improves circulation. Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles. Improved circulation can speed recovery after muscle injuries.
•Stretching promotes better posture. Frequent stretching keeps your muscles from getting tight, allowing you to maintain proper posture and minimize aches and pains.
•Stretching can relieve stress. Stretching relaxes the tense muscles that often accompany stress.
•Stretching may help prevent injury. Preparing your muscles and joints for activity can protect you from injury, especially if your muscles or joints are tight.