By Stacey Higgins
Remedial Massage Therapist
When Spring comes around we all emerge from our self-imposed hibernation, squint up at the sun and decide that we had better start exercising to get that Summer body of our dreams. As a result Spring is the period of the year when some people might push a little bit hard and find their body stiff and sore.
Below are a few tips on stretching to lower the risk of injury and make your Spring campaign to be fit and healthy a success.
- Stretching is important before a workout to warm up the muscles so they will be able to efficiently contract and relax as you move.
- Stretching after your workout has many benefits, it relaxes the muscles that have just done all the hard work, increases your range of motion so you can perform better and it is also helps to reduce muscle soreness by promoting blood circulation.
- Always move into any stretches slowly and keep breathing even. Any fast jerky movements will send a message to your brain that the muscles are in danger of tearing and stop you from going very far.
- The best way to warm up and stretch your body before you exercise is using dynamic stretches. This involves using movement and momentum to stretch. For example swinging your arms around in circles or swinging your leg back and forth will both warm you up and stretch those muscles to get them ready for action.
- After you exercise and warm down, traditional static stretching is a great way to lengthen muscles and it feels so good! Static stretching is putting muscles into stretch and then holding the position. Hold stretch for at least 30 seconds but holding for a few minutes will get the best results.
- Lastly, never stretch to the point of pain, it is supposed to feel good.
You can find more articles like this in our Spring 2015 issue e-magazine!
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